For most students, winter break is a time to rest following the nerve-wracking season of cramming for final exams and preparing for the holidays. For one group of business students, however, it was an opportunity to dedicate their spare time to others. Twenty-six members of the Business Connections Learning Community (BCLC) at the University of Connecticut School of Business and other volunteers chose to forgo their rest and relaxation this season to help those in need.
Chris Reschberger ’16, comments on the experience:
“Together, we traveled to Macon, Georgia to help out those who were less fortunate this winter break. Not only were we able to make a difference for someone else, we learned some valuable lessons as well: for some students who had never used power tools before, building wheelchair ramps and staircases are practical, hands-on experiences that will be useful skills to know after graduation. Even very easy tasks such as painting and cleaning up yards made a big difference for some folks who just needed a few more hands to help out. It was clear that a positive impact had been made when a mother, upon seeing the new staircase we had built was able to finally say, ‘go on up, honey, the stairs are safe now.’
Being able to help people so desperately in need and see the joy in their faces is something none of us will forget. What the trip really emphasized was the importance of a community coming together to help each other in a time of need, and the significant impact outside help can make.”
Zack Marcoux ’16 added, “One thing I would take back from this trip is how easy it is to make a difference in your community.”
The undergraduates planned the alternative break trip for tornado relief to Macon, Georgia from January 12 – 20, 2013, volunteering to help the devastated area in partnership with Rebuilding Macon.
Rebuilding Macon works with the local community to rehabilitate the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, free of charge. The organization repaired nearly 260 homes last year with the goal of providing a warm, safe, and dry home for those who can’t afford repairs.