UCO Students Spend Fall Break Serving Communities Locally and Out of State

University of Central Oklahoma students rebuilt homes destroyed by the May 22, 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo. over fall break with Rebuild Joplin, a non-profit agency that provides long-term recovery and rebuilding systems.

Oct. 26, 2012

Media Contact:  Courtney Bass, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121, cbass4@uco.edu

UCO STUDENTS SPEND FALL BREAK SERVING COMMUNITIES LOCALLY AND OUT OF STATE

A group of University of Central Oklahoma students and staff chose an alternative to sleeping in and relaxing during the recent fall break, choosing instead to serve the community through Alternative Fall Break.

Sponsored by Central's Volunteer and Service Learning Center (VSLC), Alternative Fall Break is an annual community service project that takes place each fall break, allowing students to volunteer their time and efforts once they've completed an application process and are accepted to participate.



This year there were two groups participating in Alternative Fall Break.

A local group held an environmental clean up day at Lake Arcadia Oct. 11 and served the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Teachers Warehouse Oct. 12.

The second group traveled to Joplin, Mo. and served with Rebuild Joplin, a non-profit agency that provides long-term recovery and rebuilding systems, Oct. 11–13.  The students helped rebuild homes for families that are still recovering from the May 22, 2011 tornado that devastated the community.

“Working with Rebuild Joplin has helped me realize it does not matter where you come from or when you volunteer. All that matters is that people come together to help others,” said Felicia Osburn, sophomore at Central.

While in Joplin the students rebuilt 5 homes for residents who are uninsured or have low income. 

“Seeing the aftermath of the Joplin tornados opened the students eyes to what a city looks like after a natural disaster. It was very impactful to compare what they saw on television verses what they saw in real life,” said Rachel Winters, assistant director of the VSLC.         

“The students came back with a heart for volunteering and grateful that Central provided them this experience.”

For more information about other volunteer and service opportunities at Central, contact Winters at (405) 974-2621 or rparks2@uco.edu.

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Editor’s Note:  Download art to accompany this release at www.uco.edu/photo/AlternativeFallBreak10.12.

Cutline: University of Central Oklahoma students rebuilt homes destroyed by the May 22, 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo. over fall break with Rebuild Joplin, a non-profit agency that provides long-term recovery and rebuilding systems. Central’s Alternative Fall Break programs provides local and out-of-state service opportunities for students.