Spring Break for Service applications open now


Image: Photo provided by Merserve

2017 Spring Break for Service volunteers.

Spring Break for Service (SB4S) is an alternative spring break program for students led by MerServe, the student-led board that creates service projects.

SB4S exposes students to the needs of others in central Georgia. Their focus is a range of social issues, including poverty and homelessness, food insecurity, environmental health and youth engagement and education.

The program is co-hosted with the Center for Community Engagement, Mercer’s department for all service opportunities and relations with the surrounding Georgia community.

“At Mercer, everyone majors in changing the world. But for the Center for Community Engagement and MerServe, changing the world starts at home,” said Lauren A. Shinholster, the advisor of the program.

Margaret Rooyakkers, a third-year student, is the executive director of the program will be going on her second SB4S trip.

“I always enjoy an opportunity to give back to my community. With that said, I have yet to be disappointed,” Rooyakkers said.

Rooyakkers said that SB4S has also had many benefits such as getting to engage with a community and expose Mercer students to groups they may not have been in contact with before.

“Because the projects for [Spring Break for Service] have more time, we are able to do projects we might not be able to do on a Saturday.”

This year’s SB4S will be focusing on hunger and homelessness but the details of the trip have yet to be released. The student leaders in charge of SB4S are hoping to have a site for the trip finalized in the coming weeks.

Students who participate in the program will stay in their residence halls during the service project and meals are provided by MerServe.

Rooyakkers said that SB4S is not all work but some play as well.

“We also do plenty of fun activities such as game nights and team bonding activities! This year, however, we plan on shaking things up, and I am really excited it,” she said.

For those interested in participating in the program, Shinholster that they should be willing to step out of their comfort zones.

It is possible that they will be serving alongside students that they don’t know or perhaps they will be serving in communities that are very different from their own,” Shinholster said.

SB4S is free to all current Mercer students and will take place from March 4-7. There is a limit of 15 students who may participate.

Applications to apply for the SB4S trip were sent out via email to all students as part of “Bear Blurbs,” but students can also pick up a paper copy in the MerServe office located in the Connell Students Center. Applications are due Feb. 26.

The link to the application is here.


Editor’s note 2/22/2018: this article has been updated to reflect the correct dates for SB4S.