Check Out DelVal Student Updates from Alternative Spring Break

Mar 16, 2008

Recent Updates:

DelValASB I can't believe this week is over!! :( It has been so amazingly wonderful being here, meeting all these people and getting to have all these amazing experiences; you really don’t know the depth of what happened down here until you experience it for yourself first-hand. I really hope that we can get a volunteer program like this going on at DelVal :) That would be amazing! Everyone should experience something like this once in their life. It helps to bring perspective and compassion and fun stuff like that. I hope the pictures and stories we bring back help to provide knowledge of the reality down here and inspiration to help out! Home-time, now! Yay! ~Lizzy <3 (March 22, 2008) 
DelValASB Tonight’s the last night. I’m so sad, because I feel like I just bonded with my mapping group. I know I will take the times that I have had here and remember it for a lifetime. I hope to talk with these people again very soon and talk about new issues and volunteering activities all over the country. Tonight, we had an awesome town meeting. There is a slide show (which is now on YouTube) that we got to watch. It kind of almost made me cry to think of all the things that we have accomplished in only one week’s time. I want to take the things I have learned about and the new values I believe in and spread it to my home town and to DelVal. This was an amazing experience that I will never forget and that I can’t wait to scrap book. Today, we helped a lady that has been stationed in Alaska with the Coast Guard and has not been back since before the hurricane. She came home to no home; we helped clean her land up, and with only a few hours to work, we made a big difference. I, as well as the lady, had to hold back tears when we said our goodbyes. I hope that after this our group can help transition our peers at DelVal and all over into a giving generation. I’m excited! Live United! -D (March 21, 2008) 
DelValASB Today is the last day. So much has been done this week with everyone working together. It’s been great. Back to Jersey tomorrow! -Kim (March 21, 2008) 
DelValASB Today is the last day. I had such a great experience but I hope the work continues to get done. Nicole (March 21, 2008) 
DelValASB Sorry, it’s been a while since I blogged; this week has been fabulous in sooo many ways :-D I’ve met so many new awesome people both within the program and in the community. Being on the mapping team, I've gotten to see so much of the damage and so much of the rebuilding, and I've gotten to hear a lot of first-hand stories from people whose homes were affected by the storm and who were here during the storm. There is still so much to be done down here. I hope to come back again! This has been an amazing experience! Just one more night! ~Lizzy (March 20, 2008)
DelValASB We just woke up and it’s freezing. Our mapping team is slowly all getting either sick or really sunburn. I have really bad tan lines and a blister on my ear from the sunburn. Today, we are mapping more of the community. It’s our last full day. I’m excited to finish up. Hopefully, our whole team can get together tonight and bond because, we only have 2 more days. <3 Deanna (March 20, 2008)
DelValASB Today, our mapping team made a lot of progress. We met many people in the community that were so happy to have us here. There are many people that have yet to get any sort of money or support, and it’s been about 2 and a half years since the hurricane. 80% of most of the communities have left and most likely won’t be coming back. It is like a ghost town in most of the communities. Friday, I hear we may be clearing debris and maybe even help building. I’m excited for that. I got lots of sunburn =( Only 3 days left! (March 19, 2008)
DelValASB This morning it poured and all of our projects got a bit delayed. We got to sleep in, but it still stinks that things got held up. (March 19, 2008) 
DelValASB We heard that it took people 10 days to make it from one town that once too 2 minutes, but after the storm it took 10 days. We entered a town with barely any inhabitants. Also, the animals are just starting to come back. It’s so sad, but it’s a happy new beginning. (March 18, 2008) 
DelValASB Today, Kim and I had a big route to walk and survey. We learned about some devastating stories. I can only imagine how they must have felt -D (March 18, 2008) 
DelValASB Walking through the destroyed houses and seeing "Grandpa" mugs and picture frames and walking up the stairs that once led to someone's home and finding nothing behind the stairs except an empty foundation breaks my heart. On the lighter note - the people here are amazing, and I have made so many friends. I can't wait to do this next year! Nicole (March 18, 2008) 
DelValASB This is intense – seeing everything behind the scenes lets you know that my spring break is being well spent - <3 the weather! Nicole (March 18, 2008)
DelValASB Today was day one on the job. All i can say is that it was intense. You can't begin to understand the reality of it unless you're really here.*Kim (March 17, 2008) 
DelValASB Hopefully we can meet more people and help them. We work from 9-5 'til Friday. At night we get to catch up with all the other projects. (March 17, 2008)
DelValASB So it's been 2 days. I got to meet plenty of people from all over the country. We got assignments and I'm helping to map the community.  We got to see how many people are still surviving and building their houses up. Today I heard a story about how one family thought that hurricane Katrina was stage 3. They just picked up things from the floor and put it on higher shelves, boarded up and left. For families away from the coast, when they came home...their home was gone. It was so sad to hear and see pictures from the storm. This is Deanna, by the way. I'm excited for the rest of the week...not happy about the bugs =( Deanna (March 17, 2008)
DelValASB Wow we just completed our first day! I am still in disbelief about everything! can't wait for our tour tomorrow! ~Lizzy X (March 15, 2008)
DelValASB Its the Night before!!! Finally!!! Im a little nervous about flying. But it should be awesome weather down there. !! ~* Deanna (March 14, 2008)
DelValASB 5 days before take off - nice weather and of course work, here I come!! <3 Nicole (March 10, 2008)
DelValASB Im starting to get really excited for Mississippi! Only 5 more days till we all go down. I hope its nice and warm. <3 Deanna (March 10, 2008)


Delaware Valley College students are now a few days into their alternative spring break, where they are working with United Way’s Alternative Spring Break 2008, designed to help those less fortunate. This year, the group is visiting Hancock County, Mississippi, one of three communities hosting programs.

"In the last two years, the Alternative Spring Break Program with United Way of America has brought together America’s youth to help rebuild the Gulf Coast after the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ivan," said Christine Mikulski, Assistant Director of Student Activities at Delaware Valley College, who is accompanying the students on the trip.

After a comprehensive application process, the six Delaware Valley College students selected to participate in this year’s trip include freshmen Deanna Rubino of Toms River, NJ, and Nicole Maurer of Tobyhanna, PA, who both major in small animal science; and Kimberly Bergen of Hillsborough, NJ, who majors in  animal science with a specialization in equine science and management; sophomores Casey Kissel of  Yardville, NJ, who majors in small animal science and Elizabeth Schechner of Havertown, PA, who majors in biology with a specialization in zoology and junior Samantha Bremer of  Highland Lakes, NJ, a Biology major with a specialization in zoology.

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