Doane students give back during alternative spring break trips
To a college student, it’s two words you look forward to hearing all winter.
A weeklong break from school allows students to kick back, relax, and let your mind and body refresh before finishing out the school year.
A number of Doane University students elected to spend their spring break giving back and volunteering their time through one of the two spring break trips student affairs organized - an alternative spring break to Houston, Texas and an outdoors trip to Huntsville, Texas.
Melissa Mossinghoff, Sheldon Hall Community Director, led the alternative spring break trip to Houston, where eight Doane students did service work with the organization Project CURE. Based in Colorado, Project CURE is the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world.
Mossinghoff and Doane students wanted to give back to Houston after Hurricane Harvey, but struggled to find places where they could help rebuild homes in the community. Instead, they helped sort and distribute medical supplies to developing countries for six hours a day during their trip, making an impact across the globe.
“I think it’s phenomenal Doane offers something like this,” Mossinghoff said. “For a lot of our students, doing this wasn’t even a second thought. That just shows the caliber of students we have here which is incredible.”
Mossinghoff and the eight Doane students left Crete on March 10th and returned on the 17th. While they spent their days volunteering, they were able to enjoy their evenings exploring the city. Funding for the trip came from several different fundraisers, donations, and special allocations from student congress.
“My favorite part of the trip was meeting new people and being able to watch the cargo trucks full of supplies leave the warehouse to be shipped to various countries,” Meaghan Stout ’21 said. “These trips show that Doane really does care about helping others in need. It gives a fun experience to students while still bringing awareness to those who don’t have things that we often take for granted.”
Another student on the trip, Matt Beck ’18 added, “I think it’s great that Doane offers these opportunities to students. I would encourage students to participate in these trips to make the most of their student fees and time at Doane.”
Another group of Doane students went to Texas as Jes Slavin, Coordinator of Campus Engagement, led the outdoors spring break trip to the Houston area as well. Slavin and a group of Doane students backpacked a 15 mile span at the Lone Star Trail in Sam Houston National Forest outside of Huntsville, Texas and did community service work at Galveston Island State Park.
Slavin and eight Doane students left Crete on March 9th and returned on the 17th. The cost of the trip was only $50 for students, covering all of their rental gear and meals at camp. Over 30 students applied to go on the trip, but only eight could be accepted.
After the applicants were chosen, they learned about the seven principles of “Leave No Trace,” a set of outdoor ethics, and backpacking basics before embarking on the trip. The group camped every night of the trip, providing students with a unique outdoor experience.
“It was a great opportunity to plan and lead this trip,” Slavin said. “I know getting outside is something Doane students crave and I was happy to provide them with the experience.”