Although the Vols play Mississippi State on Oct. 13, some UT volunteers will be headed elsewhere over fall break.
The Center for Leadership and Services' annual Alternative Fall Break takes place Oct. 11-14, marking the 20th anniversary of UT's alternative break program. Tomorrow, those participating in the AFB will host a spaghetti lunch at the Black Cultural Center from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ticket includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti, a breadstick, salad, dessert and a drink.
"We have the same recipe that we've been using for years. It's like an AFB tradition," said Jordan Prewitt, junior in communications and one of the student organizers for alternative breaks.
"All of the fundraising opportunities are student run," said Kate Humphreys, a coordinator with the Center for Leadership and Service. "Each trip will pick how they want to fundraise."
The fundraiser is not the only student-run initiative. Even though there are three completely different trips, each with 20 participants and a specific theme, students are in charge.
"Each of our break trips are planned and coordinated by two student leaders," Humphreys said. "There's a little bit of a method to the madness; they're really working towards a specific goal and theme behind the trip."
Prewitt planned his group's trip to Roanoke, Va., focusing on the theme of asset-based community development.
"We wanted to find a community where we could meet their needs where they are," he said. "Our goal is hopefully to go back to the same place. This is the third time that UT has gone to Roanoke, and we want to pick up where other groups left off."
Another group will travel to Louisville, Ky., focusing on rebuilding and recovery. Students will work with recovering child abuse victims and will have a chance to promote social skills and education. They will also work with refugee families and serve breakfast at a mission for the homeless.
The third destination for AFB is centered on issues of hunger and homelessness in Winstom-Salem, N.C. Students will have the opportunity to paint and garden for Habitat for Humanity, as well as deliver food and redistribute produce for Wake Forest University's Campus Kitchen. They will also work at a food bank and serve breakfast to a nonprofit transitional housing project, Veterans Helping Veterans Heal.
Prewitt sees more than just community in the alternative breaks, highlighting the benefit for students as well.
"I think that it really offers an awareness opportunity for students to realize what's out there ... and to realize that these same service opportunites are in our same town," he said.
Those interested in pursuing the alternative spring break program can apply during the first two weeks of the spring semester. For this semester's trips, the total cost per student is $100.
The program's application process is competitive, Humphreys said.
"We got about twice as many applicants as we could place," she said. After completing the online application, students must pass a secondary group interview. Both the application and the interview ask for reasons why the student is applying.
For more information on alternative break programs, please visit http://leadershipandservice.utk.edu/involved_altbreaks.php.