Published: Nov. 13, 2012

By Kathryn Quinn, Junior, Alternative Breaks Coordinator, Volunteer Resource Center

In light of the recent hurricane that has taken its toll on the East Coast, the CU-Boulder Volunteer Resource Center is hoping to step in as a voice to raise awareness about helping those impacted to get back on their feet. 

However, in many cases we find ourselves jumping in to help before we know what the affected communities really need assistance with. We at the Volunteer Resource Center are appreciative of our ability to listen to impacted communities’ attempts to reach out, and figure out ways we can become active volunteers during a time when many people are without homes, power and heat.

The CU Alternative Breaks program has organized a service trip during spring break 2013 to the East Coast. Led by two CU-Boulder students, the trip will focus on working alongside the community to help rebuild. Students, faculty and staff who wish to apply should visit to learn more about this trip as well as other Alternative Break trips. Applications are due by Nov. 26.

For the more immediate future, donations to national organizations are always a great avenue to make a small, but significant difference in a time of need.  The American Red Cross is making tremendous efforts to provide communities hit by Hurricane Sandy with trained disaster workers, and monetary aid is a wonderful way to fund these programs. Other organizations making an impact in the relief are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) a division of the AmeriCorps, as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

Another organization taking action in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath is Break Away, a national nonprofit that supports the development of quality alternative break programs by providing training to universities interested in creating service-learning programs.  Break Away has a network of more than 100 chapter schools, including CU-Boulder.