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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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4/9/2009 Linfield students to describe community service experiences

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McMINNVILLE – Linfield College students, faculty and staff who took part in the Alternative Spring Break program will present the highlights from their service experiences on Tuesday, April 14, at 4 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield.

During Spring Break, 43 Linfield College students, faculty and staff participated in the college’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program volunteering nearly 1,500 hours of direct service to non-profit organizations in Portland, New Orleans and Guatemala. The teams will share information about the service performed, what participants learned about the issues and about themselves from the experience, and what steps others can take in their own lives to make a difference. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Career and Community Services.

Linfield ASB is a week-long immersion during which students perform meaningful service, learn about pressing social and environmental issues, and grow as engaged leaders and citizens. This year the teams addressed housing and homelessness issues as they served with eight community partners including: Portland-based Sisters of the Road, Goose Hollow Family Shelter, Downtown Chapel, Blanchet House, Operation Nightwatch, and Transitional Youth; St. Bernard Project of Louisiana; and Habitat for Humanity Guatemala.

Teams helped to build two simple, adequate and affordable homes in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; they rebuilt two homes in Katrina-affected St. Bernard parish; and students provided 1,500 meals and hospitality services to homeless individuals and families in Portland’s Old Town/China Town neighborhood.

“Impacts on students from these service trips have been profound,” said Jessica Wade, Linfield’s community service coordinator and ASB program manager. From first-year students to seniors, the learning outcomes have included increased understanding of community needs, altered worldviews, and heightened commitments to service and civic involvement.

“This was the most educational and one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” said Linfield first-year student and Portland Urban Homeless Plunge participant Rachel Mills. “I didn’t realize what a big issue homelessness is.”

A participant from the Habitat Global Village Guatemala Team said, “This ASB experience has increased my love for doing community service. Being given this chance to go to Guatemala with a group of people to help others was one of the greatest experiences I have had. I gained a better understanding of the Guatemalan culture and people and also how to work with others.”

In addition to the team’s hours of service, participants also fundraised and contributed $9,150 in monetary donations to the various community partners including a $7,500 donation to Habitat for Humanity International.

Linfield ASB students volunteer at the local, national and international levels in partnership with schools and community-based organizations.  Since 2004, Linfield ASB has engaged more than 100 students in service contributing more than 3,000 volunteer hours to the community and creating meaningful change. For more information, contact Jessica Wade, Linfield community service coordinator, at jwade@linfield.edu.

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