Volunteers Take Off for Fall Break Service Trips

KNOXVILLE — While many UT Knoxville students are heading home for fall break, about 50 students are on their way to help others. TeamVOLS students are on their way to Danville, Ky., and Nashville to serve others for the group’s annual alternative fall break community service trip.

The two caravans left campus at 7:45 and 8 a.m. today. The students will return Sunday afternoon.

Each team is made up of 21 students, two student team leaders, one staff member and one graduate assistant. In Danville, students will volunteer at the Humane Society and work at a food pantry, the local YMCA, a recycling center, and the church where they will stay.

The group going to Nashville will volunteer at the Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Nashville CARES, Southeast Nashville Recovery and the Nashville Pencil Foundation.

TeamVOLS, which stands for Volunteer Outreach for Leadership and Service, is the Volunteer Center on the UT Knoxville campus. Founded in 1993, it serves as a foundation from which students can gain valuable community service experience and leadership opportunities. The largest project undertaken by TeamVOLS is the alternative break program, which supports trips during both the fall and spring breaks. The first alternative break took place in the spring of 1993, when a group of students and administrators traveled to the Miami area to lend a hand in the relief efforts following Hurricane Andrew. Since that trip, other alternative fall and spring breaks have seen TeamVOLS members traveling to San Antonio; East Hardin, Ill.; Stamford, Conn.; New Orleans and 46 other destinations.

TeamVOLS aren’t the only Volunteers volunteering during fall break. The Cross-Greek Ministry, an on-campus ministry geared towards students in fraternities and sororities, is taking approximately 75 students to Pineville, Ky., to work on various construction projects to better the community. Students will build wheelchair ramps, renovate a community baseball field and repair roofs.

The Cross-Greek Ministry students left at 8:30 a.m. today and will return at 3 p.m. Sunday.

This is the fourth year Cross-Greek Ministry has traveled to Pineville for fall break. The Pineville community was very dependent on the coal mining industry, and now a great percentage of the population fall well below the poverty line.

Faculty and students from the College of Architecture and Design and the College of Engineering left yesterday to travel to Haiti during fall break to begin a months-long design-and-rebuild project in Fond-des-Blancs, a town 70 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. Read more about their trip here: http://tntoday.utk.edu/2010/10/05/fall-break-haiti-trip/.

CONTACT:

Rebekah Winkler (865-974-8304, rwinkler@utk.edu)

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