As the first academic break of the year is coming around the corner from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16, most of Alma College’s students are getting ready to go back home to see their families, friends and pets.
However, there are some students who may be interested in other opportunities to fill their Fall Break. For the students that are interested in an alternative option, Alma College offers a variety of different opportunities to participate in.
Fall Alternative Breaks have been offered through Alma College since 2003. They have gained more popularity each year among students and faculty alike.
These Fall Alternative Break opportunities are a great way for students to become more involved. They allow students to make a difference within the Alma community and the greater Gratiot community.
“What I like seeing in the volunteers that I have worked with is seeing people willing to take time out of their schedule to address a need in our community,” said Katherine Garlock, the AmeriCorps VISTA member for Food Security at Alma College.
There are four Alternative Break opportunities available for the 2022 Fall Recess: Food Security with the Gratiot Community Garden and Greater Lansing Food Bank, Environmental Stewardship with the Friends of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, LGBTQ+ Support with the Gratiot Gender Affirming Closet and Disability Support with Day Dreams Inc.
The Food Security Alternative Break with the Gratiot Community Garden and Greater Lansing Food Bank will work to alleviate food insecurity within the mid-Michigan area.
In this alternative break, students can expect active outdoor work completing end-of-season maintenance at the Community Garden. This will include garden take down, as well as sorting donations and assisting with food distributions to the Gratiot community.
“20% of Gratiot County is living in poverty, and hunger does not end after going to a food pantry a few times. We need volunteers who are willing to work and encourage their peers to engage with the community on a weekly basis,” said Garlock.
The Environmental Stewardship Alternative Break with the Friends of the Fred Meyer Heartland Trail will include service to and upkeep of the Fred Meyer Heartland Trail in Gratiot County. This break would be a perfect opportunity for students who love the outdoors and being active.
The LGBTQ+ Support Alternative Break will include sorting, washing and organizing clothing and accessory donations for the Gender Affirming Closet at Alma College. This alternative break seeks to provide gender-affirming clothing and accessories to the Gratiot County community.
“I am volunteering for the gender-affirming closet because I want to be a part of minimizing gender dysphoria on campus, and the clothes that we wear often have a hand in shaping how others perceive us and how we feel about our own identities. The closet offers students a place to find clothes that fit their preferred identity to lessen this dysphoria,” said Sophie Flater (’23).
The Disability Support Alternative Break will involve sorting donations and organizing merchandise at the Dream Works Resale Shoppe. This is a non-profit organization that was established to provide and support occupational and social opportunities for adults with disabilities. Students who sign up for this alternative break will aid them with that mission.
To sign up and find more information regarding this year’s Alternative Break opportunities, visit Alma.edu. Registration is open now.