Area Students Serve Others Over Thanksgiving Break
2012 Nov 28Several area students spent Thanksgiving break serving others as part of JMU’s Alternative Thanksgiving Break program. Instead of returning home to their families and friends and celebrating over turkey and mashed potatoes, three groups of nine students traveled to Louisiana, Massachusetts or Georgia during JMU’s Nov. 17–25 break. On the New Orleans trip, students spent time with patients living with HIV/AIDS at Project Lazarus. The organization provides assisted living services to people with AIDS who are unable to live independently or do not have family that can take care of them. As a group, the JMU students had the opportunity to interact and get to know the residents through cooking meals, attending health and wellness classes with them, tending to the garden and more. Students traveling to Boston worked with the New England Center for Homeless Veterans. They focused on providing assistance to veterans who are facing homelessness. While in Boston at NECHV, the JMU students worked in their store, assisted in the kitchen and interacted and socialized with the veterans. Students learned about the strength and hardships of being a veteran. Students volunteering on the Georgia trip worked specifically with an agency called Safehouse coordinated through the Medici Project. Safehouse supports and works with at-risk children such as teenage mothers or children of incarcerated parents. The students had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and programs catered to the needs of the agency. At the end of the week, the students put together a Thanksgiving dinner for those who needed it most.