Alternative Spring Break - Meet the Mission

Dr. Michael Forrest (fourth from left), associate professor of business law, joins students during the Alternative Spring Break project offering painting and carpentry services to homes in need.

From March 10-14, University Mission and Ministry (UMM) held its fifth annual Alternative Spring Break. The initiative was directed by Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, vice president for UMM, and organized by Dr. Chris Edelman, assistant professor of philosophy, and Dr. Craig McCarron, assistant professor of mathematics.

UIW student, faculty, and staff volunteers served the San Antonio community each day during the break by painting and making minor exterior repairs to houses inhabited by individuals and families that lacked the resources to accomplish the work themselves. The houses were identified by Sonny Saenz, assistant director of the Frank Garrett Community Center. Between 30 and 40 volunteers participated each day with many serving for multiple days. Collectively, the volunteers painted five houses and made a number of repairs to shutters, building steps, doors, trim and siding. Material donations from DeWalt Power Tools, Southwest Exteriors, and Home Depot made the repairs possible.

Jon Johnston, religious studies student, led one team of painters and Mike Forrest, associate professor of business law, led the other. McCarron led the carpentry team.

Breakfast was provided by the School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering and the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions and lunches were provided by the Rosenberg School of Optometry; the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and the H-E-B School of Business and Administration. Florio’s Pizza and Firehouse Subs also supported the week’s efforts by providing in-kind donations.

Following lunch, Fr. Tom Dymowski, UIW chaplain, led volunteers in a guided reflection designed to help them gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of their service.

The event received media coverage by the San Antonio Express News and was featured on local news broadcasts by KSAT 12 and KABB. Planning for next year’s Alternative Spring will begin in January 2015.

View video of Alternative Spring Break 2014 on UIWTV!