MiBreaks Offers Alternative Weekend Experiences for Volunteering

Bella Biafore, Writer

MiBreaks is a University Outreach sponsored program that allows students to partake in community service opportunities around Michigan while meeting other students who are also passionate about giving back.

Every semester, MiBreaks dedicates a weekend of service to a place in need. Whether it be a social, cultural or environmental issue, each trip is based on a specific topic in partnership with the university.

Different from Alternative Breaks, which is based on projects and areas outside of the state, MiBreaks focuses its efforts on Michigan. While the program itself is less than a year old, that’s not hindering its efforts to make a difference.

Members of Student Government’s Executive Board decide the area of focus, seeing what places, organizations and projects could use the most help. So far, MiBreaks has been involved at places like Tahquamenon Falls and Habitat for Humanity.

At Habitat for Humanity, volunteers helped lay the foundation for a house including the demo, mud and paint. At Tahquamenon Falls they helped clear out trails.

On top of giving students the opportunity to help community members, MiBreaks also serves as a great way to see more of Michigan, especially for those from a different state or country.

“It gives you the opportunity to see different places, learn about different issues in Michigan and bring what you learned back to Flint,” said Program Co-Chair Ashleigh Gray.

For each program, students must pay a $100 fee, which includes transportation, lodging, a t-shirt and food. Often times, students will camp at the volunteer sites. Not to worry, however, in the cases of inclement weather indoor accommodations will be made.

Because the place of work varies, students interested must be prepared to put in minor physical labor to get the job done.

The next MiBreaks will take place Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. Students will be going to Holland to work with Habitat for Humanity. The program is open to all students, staff, faculty and community members. Click this link to register.