Fall alternative break seeks to help local community


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Alternative fall break is just one of many opportunities to help the Buffalo community.

Emily Niman, Staff Writer

SUNY Buffalo State students are taking time out of their busy schedules to help the homeless and those in need.

During the weekend of Nov. 6-8, Buffalo State’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center is providing students with an opportunity to help the community.

The program, named “Alternative Fall Break: Homelessness Awareness in Buffalo, NY,” is a student-led program. A total of 17 students will be participating in the event. Their goal is to restore dignity to homeless people and build relationships with them so they can connect to resources.

The students will be working with organizations such as Outdoor Homeless Ministries, The Matt Urban Hope Center, and The Salvation Army.

The NFTA bus station is one of the destinations on schedule for the weekend. During this time, students will give pre-made kits and meals to homeless people.

Students will also travel to the Matt Urban Hope Center. At this location, the students will sort through donations and organize clothing.

Another destination for the break is The Salvation Army. There, students will work with youths and their families to make crafts. The purpose of this activity is to bring a sense of home and the holiday season to children that are not fortunate enough to have that.

This is the third year that VSLC has held this program. Each year, the participants change, but the cause does not.

This program is one of many alternative breaks offered by VSLC in larger initiative to connect students that want to help to volunteer opportunities.

Alternative breaks are open to all Buffalo State students. There is a limited number of spots available for each break, so it is recommended to apply earlier rather than later.

The destinations for these breaks varies. This year, the destinations include Washington, D.C. and Detroit.

While the students who participate are helping the community, they are also learning leadership and community-building skills.

“There are always volunteer opportunities for students looking to get involved in the community, they can just stop by the office and discover them,” VLSC Assistant Coordinator Aurora Schunk said.

If you’re interested in participating in the alternative breaks, you can log on to VSLC’s website, vslc.buffalostate.edu/alternativebreak. There, you will find out information on the programs and see when informational meetings are being held.


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