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TCNJ Students Choose Service, Not Partying, as their Spring Break Activity

TCNJ Students Choose Service, Not Partying, as their Spring Break Activity
ABC at PDA camp
TCNJ's Alternative Break Club

While many college students traveled to warm locales to party for a week during their spring break, a group of students from The College of New Jersey joined the large nationwide movement of alternative spring breaks and volunteered during their week off from classes.

Members from TCNJ’s Alternative Break Club (ABC) traveled to Houma, LA, to perform disaster relief with the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). While in Houma, volunteers restored apartments in the Bayou Towers complex for the elderly; helped flood victims sort out their possessions and dispose of mold-damaged articles; and caulked, painted, and applied drywall to a home recently raised on stilts, Michael Strom ’09, ABC’s oversight chair, explained.

In addition to work, Strom said the ABC volunteers enjoyed the PDA campsite and Houma, visited a home some volunteers in the group had worked on near where the levees broke in New Orleans, explored the culturally rich New Orleans French Quarter, and enjoyed an educational panel presentation by individuals who survived the hurricane.

For Strom, who is also the founder of TCNJ’s ABC, choosing New Orleans for the first trip was simple. “The region is still struggling, hit with three disastrous hurricanes in many years,” Strom said. “The citizens in this region desperately need help rebuilding their lives, and the members of this trip were happy to do what help they could in a week.”

This year is the first for ABC, which seeks to ensure that students have access to a low cost, well-organized, education-focused alternative spring breaks to provide aid and volunteers to communities in need. Strom noted, “This first trip was enjoyed by all who attended, and is a great indicator of the future trips this young club will provide.”

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