Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let the fun times...

Begin! Let me just say that I am fantastically excited to travel to Biloxi with my fellow ASBers. Volunteering is a passion that I have had for a long time now, but I've got to admit, it's been a while since I've done my last bit of work. Despite this fact, I will never forget the amazing feeling of helping someone in need. Or even just the experience and knowledge of knowing how someone else is living their life; the struggles and hardships that they have to go through almost every single day.... This is what drives me to continue. Knowing that I can do something to lessen somebody else's pain is amazing. We're constantly told that there's a cause here and a cause there, but my question always is: "Yeah, well, what can I do about it?" This is the action. This is what I can do.

Avarie Cook
Class of 2016

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Opportunity of a lifetime

I'm so incredibly happy that I have been given this opportunity to help others during my Spring break. I never thought I would be able to do something so inspiring and amazing. I attended a community college, and this was never offered there-so when I found this club before attending Framingham State this past fall, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. A part of something bigger than me, and a part of something that will truly make me stop and appreciate everything that I have. We all sometimes get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget how truly lucky and blessed we all are, and how so many places and people alike are not so lucky. I hope to create strong bonds with those in this remarkable club, and take away some pretty memorable moments from this trip. Everyone in this club so far has been so nice and welcoming- I struggle to make friends since I am still fairly new to the FSU community, so it is good to know that I have my ASB family to look forward to seeing every friday, and of course on all of our volunteering events leading up to this unforgettable experience of a life time-Alternative Spring Break 2013-Biloxi ,Mississippi!!!!!!!!! :)

-Melissa Skerry
  class of 2014 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Other Service Opportunities!

Now that our lovely and relaxing break is over, I have a newfound sense of energy in regards to ASB. It's not that I wasn't excited before break, but I was mentally and physically exhausted from the semester. Now, I am refreshed and ready to fundraise even more money, make even more of a difference, and totally prepare myself for this life-changing journey we are about to embark on.

Part of preparing ourselves for a trip like this can include going on other service trips that can be used as means for ASB bonding. It can also truly enlighten each and every one of us on various matters. As an RA, I am lucky enough to do some different kinds of community service. Yesterday, I participated in a volunteer program with St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham. St. Patrick's is a hidden gem in my opinion, and truly proves that not all nursing facilities are negative places filled with substandard care and suspicious practices. Ten RA's, myself included, spent the day there where we sang with the residents, wheeled them to and from their rooms, and just got to know who they are as human beings. It was truly an enlightening and humbling experience. We also interacted with residents who duffer from dementia; they know who they are and are able to recall specific experiences and life events, but the order of these events is jumbled up and is often times confusing. Our interactions with these residents were truly moving to the point where we all vowed to return to this place as soon as possible.

The point I'm trying to make here is that as a group we can truly make a difference. We are obviously going to be doing some vital service work in Biloxi and for that, I am eternally grateful. However, service work isn't just saving someone or something when disaster strikes. Service is also holding out a helpful hand and letting someone know that you're there for them and that they are important too. Tori suggested that maybe we can go to St. Patrick's Manor for a group bonding session, and that really struck a cord (in a good way!) with me. It made me realize that in order to prepare for this trip, we should take part in service opportunities around the area. We may not realize it, but Framingham and the metrowest area needs assistance too.

St. Patrick's Manor is only one place in an area of ample opportunity where we can meet up, volunteer, get to know each other better, and truly make our ASB experience even more special. Now that we have the energy to do so after a refreshing month off from school, I say we go for it and explore our options!

-Kevin Long
Class of 2014

Friday, January 18, 2013

Can't Wait Until March!!!

         Two months from today my incredible new friends, faculty and I will be heading down to Biloxi, Mississippi to make a difference.  Throughout the years I have enjoyed giving to people rather than receiving. It is amazing how much you can do for an individual or organization through volunteer projects. You never know how much they truly appreciate what you have done for them. What may seem as a little task to you could be significant in their life. I enjoy giving back to the community in whatever ways I can. I feel I have so much to be grateful for and that giving back to those in need is the least that I can do. I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity to help in whatever ways possible through the various projects we’ll be doing in Biloxi.
      I cannot express in words how grateful I am to be able to go to Biloxi with such an amazing group of people who are just as passionate in volunteer work as I am. It has been amazing so far to begin to get to know each of the members of the group.  I eagerly wait for it to be March already.  When I began my new chapter at Framingham I knew I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try to make a difference it whatever aspects I could.
         I know all the projects on the trip will be hard work. Every drop of sweat will truly be gratifying to know you are making at least somewhat of a difference. It is saddening to think about how much the oil spill has affected marine life, individuals’ jobs, the economy in Biloxi, and potentially the overall health.  I am so excited to go to Biloxi. So many people just forget about these natural disasters and incidences after the press stops talking about them as much. Meanwhile the areas are still suffering and will continue to be affected for years for come. We cannot forget about these areas. One disaster is just as significant and horrifying as the other. Being privileged to live on Cape Cod surrounded by the ocean and many beaches is a luxury sometimes that I don’t realize that I take for granted. I can only imagine how much the members of the communities affected by the oil spill are hurting. The image below just shows how a beautiful wave is destroyed with oil, which will affect so many areas of marine life in the communities.

            There are so many individuals and organizations that have done so much for this community and they are incredible people.  It feels good that I can contribute to helping Biloxi through this trip. These situations provoke you to think about and question who we really admire in our society. The movie star in your favorite movie is not to be compared to the man or woman who dedicated their time to help rebuild a home or provide funds to areas in need.  I admire those other individuals and organizations who strive to make a difference too.
     I am so lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to go to Biloxi. I know this experience will be an eye-opening journey and will have a positive impact by making me a better person. I look forward to getting more of my family and friends involved in volunteer work and to be as passionate in giving back to the community as the other ASB members. I can’t wait to go and make as much of a difference as we can.

Kristen Corbett
Class of 2016

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Two Months and we're off!

I can't believe how fast time passes by! A new year has just begun and we're already half way through January with less than two months before me and 29 others will be boarding a plane to Biloxi, Mississippi together! I can't believe we're so close to the trip! It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in a crowded room among strangers learning about the trip and the work we would be doing. It seems so surreal that I will be sharing this experience with so many wonderful people, some experiencing a trip like this for the first time in their lives, some, like me, excited to be returning from the experience, knowing how great it will be!

I also can't believe this will be my last ever Alternative Spring Break with Framingham State University! It seems like going to some far away destination to help leave a positive impression on some one, a group, or a cause during the middle part of March is something second nature now--like I should expect to be touched by such an experience every year from now on, but as college comes closer and closer to an end for this guy, I am saddened by the fact that this will be my final venture with the ASB crew.

I am so motivated to work extra hard this spring break so I can say it was the best I've had! I think it will be a lot of fun learning ways to help sustain a healthy environment, even in the face of one of the worst environmental catastrophes. That is what appeals to me so much about Alternative Spring Break, hope that I can affect positive change in an area that seems so badly hurt. It is truly empowering to work with like-minded people and learn from each other and the overall experience. I am really excited to go on this journey!

-Stephen Supernor, 2013