Alternative Spring Break’s impact strengthens with two trips Reply

By Rosemary Leger and Shapleigh Webster1851 Staff, Copy Editor Lasell’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program had a banner year. This year was the college’s most involved alternative spring break to date, with groups going to two different locations, and the most students ever attending. Instead of spending spring break lounging in the sun, two groups totaling 29 students and four advisors went to New York City, and Charlotte, North Carolina respectively, where they had amazing experiences working with Habitat for Humanity, the NYC Food Bank, and the Ronald McDonald House. “Going on ASB not only opened up my eyes to different ways you can serve and how I view the world, but it also brought together a group of amazing people who I know will be life-long friends,” said junior Garbriella Giangregorio, a member of the Charlotte trip. The 11 students in the NYC group started their week off on the sidelines of the NYC Half Marathon. The group cheered for those running to raise money for The Fresh Air Fund, an organization they continued to help the following day at their headquarters. Noted by student co-leader Danielle Cutillo, was their time at The Bowery Mission, the group served dinner to roughly 270 of NYC’s homeless in one evening. The service continued at the Food Bank of NYC. This day was spent in West Harlem stocking the food pantry and helping New Yorkers in need shop for groceries. The Ronald McDonald House was the final stop for the Lasell group, and the most challenging was their time at the Manhattan Chapter. “The families were incredibly kind and thankful… [But] it was hard to interact with the young kids who are suffering from cancer,” said Cutillo. There, they catered sandwiches, juice, and cookies to about 60 people. “I became close to people I never would have thought I would connect with. By completing service together, we became a family,” said sophomore Haleigh West on the NYC trip. The Charlotte ASB took 18 students and was led by the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) Assistant Director Byrd Hughes and CCBL Vista, Shawn Fleurie, senior. This was the largest ASB trip in Lasell history. “We wanted to make the largest impact on service. The more people we had the more service we could do. That and the amount of interest we had regarding the trip made us take such a large group,” said student leader Kristina Kaufmann. The Charlotte group spent one day volunteering at Friendship Gardens, a community garden that benefits those in need. They spent two days at Habitat for Humanity, working on a house for a family of five. With Habitat, the group helped set up internal and external walls and helped build, raise, and install the roof. They concluded their service with a day at Friendship Trays, an organization that works with Friendship Gardens to package and deliver food donations to those incapable of preparing their own food. “The Charlotte ASB trip was a life-changing experience for me,” said freshman Anjab Matukic. “I wanted to transfer last semester and this trip really showed me all the opportunities Lasell has to offer. I met and bonded with so many great people and am so inspired by them all. I’m absolutely ecstatic to see what’s in store for me for the rest of my time here.” ASB is definitely an unconventional way to spend the break. “ASB is more than just doing service. It is getting a chance to find yourself and make life long connections,” said Cutillo. “It is a chance to find a new passion or dive in deeper through a passion you might already have.”

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