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Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - Alternative Spring Break volunteers are able to travel, change lives
By Carin Inglis, media relations intern

Students who aren’t planning a vacation to a tropical destination for this year’s spring break can find altruistic options through Oakland University’s Alternative Spring Break program. 

People who volunteer for ASB not only have a chance to see a variety of people and places, but they have an opportunity to change lives. 

“Throughout my experiences, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of humility and pride that came from helping others less fortunate than myself,” said five-time spring break volunteer Violet Niedbala. “ASB showed me the power of teamwork and the intrinsic, no strings attached benefit of being the change in another human being's life.” 

Alternative Spring Break is a non-profit, student initiative-led organization that works on various community service projects around the country. The program offers both monthly volunteer projects and week-long spring break trips. Monthly opportunities include service projects at the Baldwin Center, The Greening of Detroit and Focus Hope, among others. 

OU students volunteered in Jonestown, Mississippi over spring break 2011.
This year, ASB has four trips planned for spring break. Openings are still available for the National Relief Network in Bayboro, North Carolina, which will run from Feb. 17-22. To apply for this trip, visit the ASB GrizzOrgs page. Students will be able to apply for this opportunity until all spots are filled. A portion of the trip fee must be submitted before Feb. 17.

Spring breakers will also be volunteering at the Capitol Area Food Bank in Washington D.C., the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Appalachia Service Project, in Perry, Kentucky. More information about each of these organizations can be found on the ASB GrizzOrgs page.

“Instead of choosing to take a sunny vacation on spring break, students can immerse themselves in helping those in need, harnessing teamwork and leadership skills, and networking with other OU students,” said ASB president, Erica Alonzo. “Personally, ASB has been the most rewarding aspect of my college experience, and I only hope that the organization will continue to attract OU students to volunteering.”

For more information about monthly volunteering or ASB trips, visit