The University of South Carolina Upstate is the host site for the national conference of Break Away, the national organization for Alternative Breaks. Seventy people from across the country are attending a week-long training session at USC Upstate and volunteering at Christmas In Action.
“The participants are mostly college students and are the leaders that give up a traditional fall, winter, or spring break to travel around the country and internationally doing service work,” said Kara Ferguson, assistant director of student life at USC Upstate.
As tradition in the United States moves away from multigenerational homes and children caring for aging parents, there is an increase in the needs of the elderly among us. This crucial time, when seniors stand on the brink of independence and dependence, they remain largely invisible. Working with USC Upstate and Christmas In Action will allow Break Away volunteers to work within the close-knit Spartanburg community to rehabilitate the houses of elderly community members and interact with local residents. Break Away participants will acquire skills to address sub-standard housing issues, such as: roofing, painting, ramp construction, and landscaping.
Break Away participants arrived in Spartanburg on Saturday afternoon and began their projects on Monday. They will be in Spartanburg until Friday, August 3. The on-campus groups will be in the Olin Sansbury, Jr. Campus Life Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday-Thursday. Here is the Break Away Schedule.
A community dinner will be held on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence E. Roël Garden Pavilion on the USC Upstate campus to allow homeowners, community volunteers, nonprofit leaders, and Break Away participants to gather for a celebratory meal.
For additional event information, contact Kara Ferguson at 864-503-5122. To learn more about Break Away, visit www.alternativebreaks2012.org.