Alternative winter break service programs, organized by the Colgate Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE), are a great opportunity for current students to engage in community service, confront social issues, and learn the principles of volunteerism.

This year, the COVE is running two trips, both from January 13 to January 19. One trip will take students to Houston, Texas, to assist with Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery, and the other will travel to Washington, D.C., with a focus on helping the homeless.

Participants in the Houston trip will work alongside St. Bernard’s Project, a nonprofit that provides resilience training in 10 communities per year and engages in recovery efforts across the country for those who have endured disasters. Participants will not only have the chance to make a significant difference through very hands-on work but will also have the opportunity to explore the greater Houston area.

COVE Intern Gaby Bianchi ’19 describes the trip to Washington, D.C., focused on hunger and homeless outreach, as being about the “causes of hunger and homelessness, not just temporary solutions.”

Participants on the D.C. trip will visit shelters and hear from guest speakers. The group will also be working with Martha’s Table, which has been helping the D.C. community for almost 40 years by providing healthy meals and education programs to those in need. President Barack Obama volunteered there, and it truly is an organization based on long-term solutions and getting to the root of the hunger in Washington. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the area. Last year’s group visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Student applications to participate are due Wednesday, October 24, at 4 p.m.

Interviews will be held a week after the deadline, and accepted applicants will be notified subsequently. Students may also apply for financial aid to cover the cost of the trip.

-Kate Norton ’20

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