Spring Break Trips

Responding to Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Time zone: EST

It is not well known that Michigan has one of the top ten highest rates of human trafficking in the USA. On this trip, participants will learn to identify and respond to suspected human trafficking, conduct awareness presentations, street and internet outreach. They will also learn how to build collaboration among community members to improve the response for help for victims of human trafficking.

*Please note this trip involves sensitive topics

Animal Therapy for People with Disabilities

Accessibility

Time Zone: EST

Horseback riding provides a degree of physical therapy to people with disabilities as they learn how to balance and become more aware of their bodies. This calming experience gives these individuals the opportunity to feel tall and not restricted by a wheelchair, a simple feeling we often take for granted. Participants will help riders find a sense of confidence and independence as they aid employees with the facilitation of horseback riding lessons for people with disabilities.

Helping Homeless Animals

Animal Rescue

Time Zone: CST

Did you know 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year? This no-kill, non-profit organization helps these homeless pets find new homes and allows participants to help with day-to-day care and socialization of animals in a rewarding and nurturing environment. Participants will assist with morning/afternoon dog walking, kennel cleaning, feeding, cat care (feeding/cleaning kennels and condos/new litter), supervised playtime, and socialization of shelter animals.

Constructing a Trail: Adding Miles to the Miles

Environment

Time Zone: CST

On this trip, participants will serve as advocates for state parks through work on a scenic foot trail. To promote the development, awareness and utilization of the park, participants will continue to maintain standards for trail design, and construct the trail to create a lasting legacy for future generations. Participants will also learn about the conservation of natural resources, and how to promote rational development within the surrounding counties in order to preserve the natural beauty and intrinsic value for posterity.

Helping Our Seniors Remain Independent

Accessibility

time zone: EST

For most older Americans, the inability to reside on their own at home equates to a loss of dignity and autonomy. Many have few family nearby, and the thought of having to move out of their home, and away from everything they know, is very depressing. This non-profit agency is dedicated to helping our aging community members stay in their homes by the use of several programs:  Meals-on-Wheels, Home Care, Care Connection, Independent Living Services, and our Senior Centers. Participants will reinforce this effort by building ramps, aiding in landscaping efforts and complete other essential projects so as seniors are able to remain at home.

 

Unconditional Acceptance for LGBTQ+ Youth

LGBTQIA+

Time zone: CST

This organization serves communities facing social isolation or health challenges, such as those living with HIV, youth experiencing housing instability, LGBTQ + young people and youth trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Participants will help us prepare for camp, a place that is a second home for many of our campers. Projects include small construction, painting, organizing, program preparation and facility and grounds maintenance.

Disaster Restoration

Disaster Relief

Time Zone: EST

Natural disasters ravage communities, leaving families displaced or living in deplorable conditions. It can take years for a community to recover from the effects of disaster. Participants will put their hands to the hammer, and join this organization in helping homeowners return to safe, sustainable homes.

Brightening Communities: Renewable Energy for Low Income Neighborhoods

Environment/Poverty

Time Zone: PST

Flight Required

Students will be on the forefront of the solar movement by participating in solar installation for a low-income family in the United States. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about low-income solar policy implementation, solar system design, community organizing and most importantly to contribute towards the vision to make renewable energy accessible to everyone.

Providing Healthy Solutions in a Food Desert

Food Access

Time Zone: EST

Many areas in the United States are considered "food deserts" - low income neighborhoods in urban areas where access to affordable, healthy fresh food is limited. This organization aims to “practice low-energy-use, appropriate tech, biological farming, with emphasis on soil health, cover crops, compost, and compost tea,” all in the context of long-term urban permaculture site design and development. Participants will work on an urban farm created to combat this issue in an area the USDA deems a food desert. Throughout the week participants will work to help maintain annual garden space and forest garden areas with physical work outdoors, including general gardening/farming tasks such as planting, caring for seedlings, preparing beds for the growing season, creating new garden beds, distributing mulch/compost, cutting down overwintered crops, working on infrastructure such as fencing, and harvesting/preparing for market vegetables that were overwintered.  Tasks and task priorities can change and based on weather conditions.

Community Development, Engagement, & Education

Community Development

Time Zone: CST

international

Flight Required

Participants will help strengthen a developing country’s small town through civic engagement activities. They will be exposed to existing sustainable development initiatives, and uncover challenges facing these communities. They will also explore some of the protected areas that have become significant to the country's future development. This trip is international and will require a passport and a flight. Prior to departure, there will be a few mandatory foreign language webinars/online homework sessions. We suggest that you have a basic level of Spanish speaking skills.

Inland Waters Restoration

Environment

Time Zone: CST

Pollution impacts every lake, river, and ocean across the globe. It kills wildlife, ruins habitats, and contaminates resources. This trip creates an opportunity for a team to come together, united by a common respect for the environment and make great strides in restoring it. Participants will execute lots of physical outdoor work, such as cleaning up garbage on the lakeshore.

Sustainable Farming, Education, and Ecotourism

Sustainable Farming, Education, and Ecotourism

Time Zone: CST 

International

Flight Required

Tropical forests have been continuously exploited, but this small farm is advocating for the long term conservation of nature, while providing a positive social and economic impact for the local community. Participants will work on supporting education at primary school, sustainable practices at a cooperative coffee farm, and promotion of ecotourism as an alternative for conservation of the forests. This trip is international and will require a passport and a flight. Prior to departure, there will be a few mandatory foreign language webinars/online homework sessions. We suggest that you have a basic level of Spanish speaking skills.

Support for at Risk Communities

Community Development

Time Zone: EST

This organization strives to sustainably improve the well-being of low to moderate income families. Participants will serve children facing challenges and instability in an after school academic enrichment environment. Additionally, participants may participate in food distribution, gardening projects, and aid other community groups on restoration and housing service projects.

Combating Human Impact on Sea Turtle Ecosystems

Marine life conservation

time zone: est

Human impact has devastated many habitats, from rain forests to oceans. This organization strives to promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. Participants will learn about what goes on behind the scenes to keep an active wildlife hospital running 365 days of the year. They will also dive into direct and indirect service efforts related to education, rehabilitation, and conservation.

Exploring Indigenous Rights: The Dakota and Lakota People

Indigenous

time zone: CST

Indigenous Rights, or the lack thereof, have influenced the lives of the Lakota and Dakota people since European colonization of the Midwest. Participants will engage in these Native American communities by assisting with various work projects and special activities benefiting the Lakota and Dakota people. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about the roots of our nation when they participate in cultural events presented by Native Americans who live on the reservations that the organization serves.

Community Initiatives Toward Food Justice and Public Health

Food Access

Time Zone: EST

Participants will analyze the food system as a consequence of structural inequalities, such as food insecurity and health disparity. Service will be at an urban farm, assisting with preparing for the upcoming growing season through composting, planting, weeding, etc. In addition to service, participants will learn about creative solutions being utilized to redesign food systems as sources of health promotion.