Domestic Alternative Breaks

Domestic alternative breaks are 7-9 day service-based immersions into different cultural, environmental, and socioeconomic communities throughout the United States. Teams take part in service projects that address unmet community needs, gain awareness of critical social issues, enhance their individual growth, and prepare for lives of active citizenship. All alternative break trips are drug and alcohol free.

Applications for 2014/2015 break trips will be available in late August. Check back here, or follow us on Twitter @kscservice for the latest updates.

2014 Domestic Trip Descriptions

Habitat for Humanity/Cleveland OH: Around the world nearly 2 billion people live in slum housing, and more than 100 million are homeless. Habitat for Humanity believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 600,000 homes around the world using volunteer labor and donations. Volunteers on the KSC Habitat trip will spend one week with a local Habitat affiliate, community, and partner families to help eliminate poverty housing in an east coast community through construction or rehabilitation efforts. Volunteers could be framing, roofing, painting and more. Lodging will  be dorm style; days generally run 8:30-4pm on the construction site; the team will likely prepare some of its own meals.

United Saints/New Orleans: Formed in 2007 in New Orleans, the United Saints was born out of a need for assistance following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans with a devastating blow, one from which the city is still recovering. The housing needs of many residents, especially in the poorer neighborhoods, remain unmet. United Saints’ mission is to build and repair houses, helping to facilitate emotional healing. Volunteers on the KSC United Saints Trip will spend one week participating in construction and rehabilitation efforts in and around the city of New Orleans. Volunteers could be painting, installing dry wall, landscaping, and more. Lodging will be dorm style at the United Saints facility. Days generally run 7:30-4:30 on the work site; the team will likely prepare some of its own meals.

NC Coastal Federation/North Carolina: With more than 320 miles of ocean beaches and 4,200 miles of shorelines around coastal sounds, rivers, and creeks, the coast of North Carolina is one of the largest and most productive in the United States. Since its grassroots formation in 1982 the federation is the state’s only 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses exclusively on protecting and restoring the coast of North Carolina through education, advocacy and habitat preservation and restoration. A major project of the federation is oyster habitat work.  Regarded as a tasty treat to many, we now know they are also one of the most important inhabitants of our estuaries.  Oysters provide important habitat, are a critical link in the estuarine food chain, help to control erosion along shorelines, filter water and they are an important fishery. Volunteers on the NC Coastal Federation trip will spend one week helping with shell recycling and bagging for dispersal to new oyster restoration projects (old shells are deposited in shallow waters to create reefs—oyster larvae attach to the shells and grow in 18-24 months). The team may also help with feeding at the NC Aquarium and do some beach cleanup. Lodging will be dorm style at Camp Albemarle; meals are provided. Work days will generally run 9am-4pm.

Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition/Ohio: The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless is a unified social action agency, fully committed to its ultimate goal: the eradication of homelessness with respect for the dignity and diversity of its membership, the homeless and the community. The Coalition works towards this goal by coordinating services, educating the public, and engaging in grassroots organizing and advocacy. Volunteers with GCHC will participate in the Cincinnati Urban Experience (CUE.) Mornings during CUE are spent volunteering at local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other agencies that provide services for Cincinnatian’s experiencing homelessness. In the afternoon GCCH provides educational activities so participants can learn about the root causes of homelessness and poverty. All participants will have the opportunity to hear from speakers, participate in team building activities, and reflect on how they can get involved in dispelling myths and creating empathy rather than apathy.

Medici Project/NYC: We need your help to fight against the root causes of poverty. We are not asking you to change the world or the city of New York. We know that poverty is a huge and complex issue; all that we ask of you is to make a difference in the life of one person. One hug, one smile, one laugh, one listening ear, or one game might be all that it takes to let a youth know that someone does care about them and that there is hope of a life beyond the negativity of poverty. Medici Project strategically partners with organizations who are serving individuals within the city on a consistent basis. Volunteers on the Medici trip will engage in various service opportunities that may include Boys and Girls clubs, play days with kids, crafts with kids and public school tutoring. Lodging will be dorm style; the team will prepare many of its own meals. Work days will vary depending on the service project.

Nature Conservancy/Shady Valley, TN: A leading conservation organization in the United States and around the world, The Nature Conservancy works with public and private partners to ensure our lands and waters are protected for future generations. The Conservancy works in all 50 states and more than 35 countries — protecting habitats from grasslands to coral reefs, from Australia to Alaska to Zambia. Volunteers with the Nature Conservancy will spend one week participating in volunteer efforts that address pressing conservation threats. This could include planting native trees, removing non-native species, and more. Lodging will be in a cabin.  The team will likely prepare its own meals. Work days are generally 8-4.

WINTER TRIP-Wildlife Conservation/Florida: The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago in the southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands. The keys are home to unique marine and wildlife populations, migratory populations, and critical habitats—all susceptible to a variety of challenges related to increasing tourism and recreation. Volunteers on this trip will participate in service with a variety of organizations along the Keys including the Turtle Hospital, Key Deer Refuge, the Marine Mammal Conservancy, and more, to learn about threats to the area, and corresponding conservation and rescue efforts. Lodging will be at the Brinton Environmental Center (part of the BSA Sea Base). Meals will be provided. Work days will generally be 9-5, with travel on either end.

Weekend Trips-Boston, MA Keene State College is partnering with Friends of Boston’s Homeless for three spring weekend trips. Friend’s of Boston’s Homeless is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports innovative, solution-oriented programs to help the homeless move beyond shelter to lead independent lives in our community.Volunteers will do the work that is needed most–preparing and serving meals, and cleaning and assisting with shelter operations.

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