By Hannah Kunkel

CLEMSON — Instead of resting and relaxing for spring break, many Clemson University students will be heading to locations across the country and around the world to spend the week of March 18-22 helping others.

Wherever they go, all of these students have one goal in common: to dedicate their time and talents to make an impact on lives. 

Clemson’s Alternative Break Program is sending 13 students to Toms River, N.J., to help with Hurricane Sandy Relief.

“I’ve been on an Alternative Break Program trip before and had an amazing experience,” said Jericha Kent, a student leader for the trip. “I'm looking forward to getting up there and jumping right into whatever they need us to do so we can get as much accomplished as we can while we are up there for the week.”

The Clemson CONNECTIONS Peer Mentoring Program is taking a group to the Dominican Republic to build a house for a deserving family. This is the first time the CONNECTIONS program has been selected for this service trip, which is sponsored through the U.S.-based organization Cambiando Vidas.

Fifteen students representing Clemson’s Habitat for Humanity will travel to New Smyrna, Fla., to construct homes for people in need.

“We will be working on this house every day trying to accomplish as much as we can,” said Laura Hunsucker, president of the chapter. “Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

The Clemson chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is organizing two trips for spring break this year. One group of students will visit the newest FIMRC site in the Dominican Republic. During the week students will observe local clinic and hospital operations, plan health education lessons, and spend a day in the village of Tiluri, Haiti.

A second volunteer group will be sent to the FIMRC site in Nicaragua. Students will have the opportunity to shadow the local pediatrician, give health education lessons in schools and participate in other community health outreach efforts.

“For the past six months, we have been fundraising in preparation for this trip and have raised sufficient funds to supply necessary medical equipment and medications to clinics in both sites,” said Maghan Knight, one of the student leaders for the trip. “Through these efforts, we hope to leave a lasting impact by providing equipment that will assist in health-care delivery for years to come.”

New members of the Clemson chapter of Students Helping Honduras are traveling to Honduras to help build homes and schools and to tutor children in their partner village, Villa Soleada.

Many of Clemson’s campus ministry organizations also are traveling on missions to serve.

The Clemson Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has a group of more than 400 students traveling to work with different ministries in New Orleans.

Clemson's Cru Christian group is sending students to Orlando to join forces with a ministry for homeless people.

Staff member Barry Bouchillon said, “We want to serve the homeless through meeting practical needs as we partner with a local organization in Orlando.”   

For the 10th consecutive year, students from the Wesley Foundation are heading to serve people on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. 

A group of students from Crosspoint Church are taking some of Clemson’s international students to New York City for a chance to build lasting relationships and learn more about their host country. This unique trip is designed to encourage friendships between American students and international students — all members of the Clemson family.

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