It is the 6th of 15 weeks of school, midterms are approaching, and spring break seems like it can’t come fast enough. I don’t come from a “privileged” family, nor am I particularly good at saving my meager earnings, and haven’t really had the opportunity to go on vacations for spring break, or in general for that matter. However, despite my lack of funding, I found a loophole last year. I found out that the Methodist church in town was advertising an alternative spring break for students who were interested in service work. The trip would be for a week and we would go down to Kentucky for a week to fix houses. Easy enough, right? The mission’s website claims “Red Bird Mission, a non-profit agency located in the Appalachian mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, empowers individuals and advocates justice by providing educational, health, and community outreach ministries to area low-income residents.”
We traveled to Kentucky last year, specifically to an area right near Beverly, in a hodgepodge group. College students, high schoolers (age 14), and citizens from Poultney, Fairhaven, Wells, and Tinmouth (or their respective Methodist churches) traveled in a large limo, or van. It was pretty tiresome, we traveled for approximately a day, and arrived in beautiful Kentucky, and were happy 🙂 We were split into three groups of approximately half a dozen each, and went to three different job sites. At my site, we worked on replacing a floor, ceiling, doors, and windows. The woman from this home was unemployed and her husband worked in a coal factory. She was very kind and seemed very grateful to be helped. We got up at about 7 AM every day, ate breakfast, prayed (this was a personal decision for each person), loaded vans, arrived on the work site at around 9, ate lunch at about noon, and returned home at about 5, ate dinner, had fun with our new friends at the mission, and went to sleep early! On Wednesday some of us walked around Berea, KY, to check out the college town area. It wasn’t the most exciting day of my life, needless to say. We departed on Saturday and returned on Sunday.
This year I am going again, specifically on 3/3/12. There are plenty of other college students, more than a dozen, who are going, and who have financial need. We are currently fundraising and trying to make sure that people who want to help others and get away from home for spring break have the opportunity to go. It should be awesome!