A group of students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and other volunteers traveled to San Antonio, Texas, January 16-18, to reach out to homeless families living at Haven for Hope, as part of the University’s first Alternative Winter Break, hosted by the Student Volunteer Connection (SVC).
The Alternative Winter Break weekend-long program provides opportunities for undergraduate college students to engage and immerse in direct “hands-on” service and experiential learning that are outside of their everyday comforts of life.
The nine University students in attendance were Rebecca Ferrell, Elsy Hernandez, Ngoc Ho, Jennifer Hoang, Phuong Hoang, Marina Marroquin, Liliana Perez-Basilio, Minh Pham, and Maria Puentes.
The main focus of the Alternate Winter Break is to aid in tackling the issue of hunger and homelessness as students to relieve and make an impact in the effects of hunger and homelessness through volunteerism
“I hope that students gained a greater understanding of the homeless community, and from this, they would be able to better serve this community,” said Alex Puentes, Alternative Break Coordinator of SVC. “I hope that they take what they learned and somehow apply it to our Corpus Christi and Texas A&M –Corpus Christi community through either educating their peers or through service.”
To keep with the Alternative Break program theme “Poverty and Homelessness,” Haven for Hope, a non-profit organization providing services for more than 1,300 children, women, and men of San Antonio who are experiencing homelessness, was selected. The students spent their time at the facility beautifying the campus, and sorting clothes at their warehouse. They also assisted with serving meals at the San Antonio Food Bank.
The Haven for Hope facility is located on a $100 million, 37 acre campus, and draws upon the man power of their employees and volunteers to manage and operate their services while pursuing their values of compassion, servant leadership, drive of hope, and excellence.
“I want to show the members of not only my community, but any community of any given city that there are people who are concerned about our social issues and want to do something to alleviate its afflictions to those who are affected by them,” said Puentes. “SVC is this gateway to become a part of our community and make a difference.”
This year’s Alternative Spring Break is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, to Sunday, March 22, in St. Louis, Missouri.