For students participating in Miner Challenge, spring break is a time to give back to communities all over the world. These student volunteers participate in a variety of trips where they work on different community service projects over spring break week. This March 21, 2020 through March 28, 2020 groups of students will be heading to Costa Rica, Louisiana, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas where they will build homes, do renovations, work on environmental conservation, provide aid to the homeless, participate in community outreach, build refugee shelters, and tutor children in the community.
In New Orleans, Louisiana students will be working with The Saint Bernard Project to help impoverished families rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina. They will also work to renovate homes that are still unsafe. Alyssa Crum, a freshman volunteering her spring break to assisting those in need with Miner Challenge said, “I am really looking forward to taking the trip down to New Orleans and really being able to make a difference in the lives of those who have been continually affected by Hurricane Katrina for fifteen years.”
The students travelling to Costa Rica will go to the community of Alejuala. This group will be working to restore houses as well. They will install flooring, construct stoves and take on other small improvements in the community.
In Asheville, North Carolina, students will be working on environmental conservation. They will work alongside Asheville Greenworks to gain hands-on experience through maintaining community orchards and the tree nursery for native species, live staking along creeks and streams, learning to live a low-waste lifestyle, planting pollinator-friendly plants and trees, and cleaning the roadways/creeks of Buncombe County. Asheville Greenworks also has several uniquely engineered Trash Trout/Trash Booms designed to passively trap litter in surrounding waterways that the team will work with.
The Georgia Team will work with SafeHouse Outreach and Crossroads Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. The team will serve meals, connect with the community, and plan a community event. They will also work in cohorts with Crossroads Atlanta which provides access to resources that empower people struggling with homelessness to progress in building a stable life. Students will prepare and serve food to those living homeless as well as interact with them to better understand their situation in life and help them overcome it.
In Austin, Texas student volunteers travelling with Miner Challenge will work on refugee shelters for new immigrants. They will be volunteering with Casa Marianella and Posada Esperanza.They will assist newly immigrated people in adapting to American culture. They will also be working on new residential areas for refugees. In addition, they will tutor refugee children.
To prepare for their upcoming trips, Miner Challenge is holding multiple fundraisers. Currently ongoing is their Berry-Os fundraiser for which they are selling chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered oreos, to be delivered during the week of Valentines Day. Following the Berry-O’s fundraiser, Miner Challenge will host a Trivia Night. This is one of the last fundraisers done before they go on their trip in March.
In the past, Miner Challenge has sold cookie dough and done a letter campaign to raise funds. Both of these fundraisers took place in the Fall 2019 semester. All funds raised support Miner Challenge and the students participating.
To conclude, Miner Challenge not only gives back to the community and those in need, but it also teaches Missouri S&T students the value of service.