Mizzou Alternative Breaks plans spring trips around 2020 goal

Mizzou Alternative Breaks shapes plans for upcoming spring trips around its 2020 goal to serve 114 counties in Missouri.
Mizzou Alternative Breaks has grown to be the fourth largest alternative break program in the U.S. Courtesy of Facebook via @Mizzoubreaks

Mizzou Alternative Breaks set out with a goal of serving 114 Missouri counties by 2020.

Last spring, there were 16 counties left to serve. Now, there are only four.

MAB announced Jan. 27 a new slate of trips that includes 21 weekend trips and 47 trips for the duration of spring break. The four counties remaining — Linn, Maries, Worth and Chariton — will be included in this new set, Alexis Hamby, a member of MAB’s Weekend Executive Board, said.

MAB partnered with MU Extension, an organization that uses research to understand changes in Missouri, in 2014. They’ve since worked on implementing MAB’s service on a broader scale. MU Extension has helped MAB accomplish service projects dealing with health, the environment, youth empowerment, agriculture and other community efforts.

Finding future service partners and maintaining old relationships are steps in organizing a trip. MAB site leaders are not only in charge of communicating with already established service partners, but they use resources to distinguish which counties in Missouri have not yet been served.

By the end of the 2012-13 academic year, MAB had grown to be the fourth largest program in the U.S., according to the MU website.

“We stick to what we do [for new trips], the main difference is that we purposely picked counties that haven’t been served by us, or haven’t been served by us in a while,” Hamby said.

Sophomore Adam Woodward has been on two trips — as a freshman to Maitland, Florida, for youth empowerment and last month to New Orleans, where his group planted trees to help offset damage from Hurricane Katrina.

With a 10-hour trip via van, Woodward became close with peers who share the same passion for service.

“You get what you put into [the trip],” Woodward said. “What I learned is that people involved in the program are all amazing. They are all very service-oriented and driven toward that one focus.”

MAB’s principle of “Serve, Don’t Help” states how service is “a two way street on an equal plane,” according to the MU website.

“Our great state of Missouri has given so much to the university,” Hamby said. ‘It is important that we not only get out and serve all of our counties, but also that we get to know the communities better.”

This promotes MAB’s mission of providing students with the opportunity to gain a broader perspective of the world.

“One of the principles that MAB has is ‘Be Gumby,’” Woodward said. “Things happen, things change. Things happen, you have to roll with it and keep going with our life.”

Edited by Ethan Brown | ebrown@themaneater.com

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