More than 120 MU students volunteer throughout Columbia and surrounding communities

Students served organizations as part of Mizzou Alternative Breaks’ Weekend Service Experience.

March 16, 2021
Contact: Stephanie Fleming, 573-882-8353, sfleming@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Over the weekend, more than 120 University of Missouri students volunteered for local organizations throughout Columbia and surrounding communities as part of Mizzou Alternative Breaks’ (MAB) weekend service experience. Students met virtually before their weekend of service to learn more about the community and the organizations they would serve. After their weekend of service, the 19 student-led groups participated in virtual reflections about their experience.

This is a photo MU students volunteering with Mizzou Alternative Breaks.

Students with Mizzou Alternative Breaks volunteer to help the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture by prepping the Veterans Urban Farm. Photo by Sam O'Keefe/University of Missouri

“During these unprecedented times, many things have changed, including how MAB will get out and give back this semester,” said Sarah Rielley, service coordinator for Mizzou Alternative Breaks. “MAB recognizes that COVID-19 has amplified needs across all communities, which is why we continue to send groups of students out to serve both throughout Columbia and in surrounding communities.”

This is a photo of MU students volunteering with Mizzou Alternative Breaks.

Rachel Sacharin (from left), Kiyah Thomas and Cory Johnson help the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture by prepping the Veterans Urban Farm. Photo by Sam O'Keefe/University of Missouri.

The weekend of March 12-14, students partnered with local organizations including:

  • City of Columbia
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • City of Refuge
  • Community Garden Coalition
  • CoMo Urban Agriculture
  • Services for Independent Living
  • Ronald McDonald House

“The pandemic has made service much more difficult to accomplish, which has made me more grateful for being able to serve during the MAB weekend service experience,” said Liam Gray, a senior studying mechanical engineering and the director of logistics for MAB. “Now that service opportunities are a little harder to come by, it makes you appreciate the service experiences you do have that much more.”

This is a photo of MU students volunteering with Mizzou Alternative Breaks.

Students with Mizzou Alternative Breaks volunteer to help the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture by prepping the Veterans Urban Farm. Photo by Sam O'Keefe/University of Missouri

MAB is hosting a Spring Break of Service that will also have a local focus this year due to the pandemic. Four groups of students will stay in town and engage in safe, alternative volunteer activities during their spring break.

Founded in 1991, Mizzou Alternative Breaks sends groups of students across the country on service trips during weekend, Thanksgiving, spring, summer and winter breaks. Participants enter communities with the mindset of “Serve, don’t help”— one of the program’s guiding principles.

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