Springtime means spring break for students across the country, and for Food & Friends, it means fantastic groups of student volunteers! This year we had 15 different spring break groups representing a wide range of schools and student organizations. The unifying factor? The desire to learn about the challenges facing our communities and how they, as future leaders, can make a positive impact.
|Students from around the world through American Councils|
We were particularly excited to host the American Councils for International Education, an exchange organization that brings students from around the world to live in the U.S. for a year of learning both in and out of the classroom. The students who visited us came from all over, including Indonesia, Cameroon, Moldova, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines. While many of their countries have been war torn, the students had come to the U.S. with the goal of learning community service-based lessons that they could bring back to their home nations.
Closer to home, a group from Georgetown University’s Alternative Break focused on the themes of hunger, homelessness, and intersecting issues in and around DC. They sought out Food & Friends for first hand insight into how health and illness factor in these broader problems.
|Students from NYU volunteered with us all week!|
Each student group’s volunteer experience is unique and tailored to their needs and interests. Some of our groups this year made a sustained commitment by working with us for the entire week, such as New York University’s LGBTQ Student Group and SUNY Purchase College. Others, like those from East Tennessee State, DePaul University, and High Point University, drove over 9 hours in school vans to participate in a variety of community service opportunities in our nation’s capital, including here at Food & Friends. The Ohio State “Buck-I-Serve” group comes every year for spring and winter break, and we were happy to welcome them back again this year!
The Food & Friends Service Learning Program allows students to gain valuable knowledge and see, first-hand, how their service impacts the lives of children and adults facing life-challenging illnesses as well as gain important perspective on issues such as HIV/AIDS and nutrition. If you like to learn more about bringing a student group to Food & Friends, go HERE!