Service Break Experience Site Listings

Applications are now open for Spring 2015 experiences.  Please check out the site listings below for more information on specific sites.  And click the Apply button to open the application. 

If you have any questions, please contact:

Tim O'Connell                                            Kate Giancatarino
timothy.oconnell@villanova.edu                catharine.giancatarino@villanova.edu
610-519-4084                                           610-519-6285

Apply to a Service Break Experience

Mission Experiences

[Flying]

Participants will have a unique Texas/Mexico border experience working and staying with Annunciation House.  Annunciation House is a Catholic organization that accompanies the migrant, homeless, and economically vulnerable peoples of the border region through hospitality, advocacy, and education.  Participants will learn about the issues facing the border such as immigration, economic development, human rights, and social justice.  Participants will be immersed in the border culture and realities of the many people and groups that live and work there. The food that you will eat and the conditions which you will live in are as much a part of the experience as the people and groups that you will meet.

http://annunciationhouse.org/baexperience/

Cost: $750       Participants: 13

 

[Driving]

Aquinas Center is located on the campus of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community in the heart of South Philadelphia. The former convent is being re-purposed as a space to foster mutual support and shared understanding.  Parishioners and guests come together to express hospitality, promote education, and engage in service.  Participants will have a true cross-cultural experience in this community that is home to immigrants from various parts of the world as well as long time residents of South Philly.  Work may include involvement in a Mural Arts Project, English as a Second Language classes, an after-school program, spending time with senior citizens, and neighborhood clean-up.  Through these experiences and talks by guest speakers volunteers will gain an understanding of the life of immigrants in the U.S. and the ways in which local parishes respond to their needs and others in the neighborhood.

http://staquinas.com/aquinascenter/

Cost: $300  Participants:12

[Driving]

Located in central Appalachia, Bethlehem Farm is an intentional Catholic community that strives to transform lives through serving the local community and teaching sustainability. During the week at the Farm, participants work the surrounding community, pray together, learn about and from the people of Appalachia, and experience ways of practicing and living a sustainable life. Participants will do a variety of work, from working alongside a family in repairing their home to practicing sustainability by working the farm and preparing the food it produces. This is a great domestic mission experience focused on the Farm’s four cornerstones of service, prayer, simplicity, and community.

http://www.bethlehemfarm.net/main/

Cost: $350  Participants:15

[Flying]

Selma has a rich history, especially in the Civil Rights movement.  This unique Service Break Experience is an opportunity to walk the path of justice from Selma to Montgomery and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voter’s Rights Act.  This journey will be an immersion experience of education, commemoration, and action.  Most of the time will be spent exploring the sites significant to the Civil Rights Movement.  There will be some opportunity for direct service work.  The group will be joined by Dr. Larry Little and Dr. Terri Nance.  The Advisor will be Irene King. 

Costs: $750     Participants: 15 

[Driving]

Participants will work with Keep Growing Detroit, an organization that aims to engage the local community, educating about healthy foods, assisting urban farms, and seeing stronger healthy food policies for low income communities, and communities of color.  The group will stay at the Cass Corridor Commons, a shared work space for community activities, entrepreneurs, and faith-based organizations.  The participants will live in community, practice simple living, and immerse themselves in social action in an urban environment. 

http://detroitagriculture.net/about/

Cost: $350       Participants: 10

[Flying]

Participants will be hosted by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Handmaids live and work among a community of Latinos in a trailer park.  Participants will tutor in an after-school program, provide support for vulnerable mothers, and help repair trailer homes.  Immigration and culutral education are central themes of this experience.  Students will also travel to Atlanta one day to visit the MLK Museum.  Participants will live simply in an outreach center run by the sisters. This site is not recommended for people with allerigies to dogs and cats.

http://www.oasistutors.org/

Cost $750  Participants:10

[Driving]

Participants will engage in the Urban Challenge Program where they will have the opportunity to build bridges of understanding. The group will confront issues which divide us – poverty, race, class – in a prayerful and constructive environment.  During the day, the group may work at a variety of sites in Camden and Philadelphia: schools and pre-schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food banks, housing rehabilitation, drop-in centers for persons infected and affected with HIV and AIDS, and other social service agencies in the area. In the evening, they will have the opportunity to discuss urban poverty and social and economic justice, and reflect on our call, as disciples, to embrace a “preferential option for the poor.”

http://www.romero-center.org/

Cost: $300       Participants: 13

[Flying]

Northern New Mexico is one of the most unique and culturally distinct areas of the United States. It is the home of both ancient Native American communities and pueblos founded long before the inception of the United States. This site offers a cultural immersion that allows participants to connect with themselves, each other, and the natural world while learning from Navajo people. Participants will stay on a farm that uses both modern and traditional agricultural practices and visit with Navajo people. Much of this experience will be about being a witness to the beauty of the Native American culture. 

http://www.viainternational.org/new-mexico.html

Cost: $850  Participants:14

 

[Flying]

San Diego is fast becoming the hub of an emerging trans-border culture, and the city is home to the largest refugee population in America. Participants will explore the rich trans-border culture of the San Diego region while participating in volunteer service learning projects along the U.S. side of the international border with Mexico.  Much of this week will be be introduced to Via's methods of community development, and come to a greater understanding of the human aspects of border issues and immigration. 

http://www.viainternational.org/san-diego.html

Cost: $850  Participants:14

Habitat for Humanity Experiences

[Driving]

Blount County is situated at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. To date it has built over 95 homes, and provided safe, decent homes for hundreds of men, women & children. Our southern hospitality makes for a wonderful experience! 

http://www.blounthabitat.org/T2-home

Cost: $350  Participants: 16 

[Driving]

We are a medium-sized affiliate, building 12-15 homes a year, located in Wilmington, NC, close to both the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean. Collegiate Challenge participants can expect to work Monday - Friday on new construction projects in the area. Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through construction, rehabilitation and advocacy for just housing policies.  Website: http://www.capefearhabitat.org/   

Cost: $350      Participants: 16

This Experience is for Freshmen only [Driving]

Our affiliate has completed over 300 homes, serving more than 1000 family members. There are many substandard housing areas in our community and Habitat Forsyth has started rebuilding neighborhoods rather than just build new houses. Our affiliate offers dormitory style accommodations located above our offices with separate sleeping quarters, showers and access to a full service kitchen. We also engage many community partners that provide lunch and dinner for the students on site, at Habitat or at a home or church. Local Villanova alumni host a wonderful welcome dinner.

http://www.habitatforsyth.org/home0.aspx

Cost: $350  Participants:16

[Flying]

George County is a rural area 35 miles north of the MS Gulf Coast that has a population of about 22,000 people. The need for decent affordable housing here is great even nine years after Hurricane Katrina.  We are a small but growing affiliate which has served 50 families in our county and have 7 more projects scheduled before June 2015. We offer Southern hospitality and great appreciation for your help.

Website: http://www.georgecountyhabitat.org/Home_Page.html

Cost: $750      Participants: 16

[Driving]

Greenwood is located in the southwest corner of South Carolina. It is known for its mild climate even in the early weeks of March. Students will experience true southern hospitality and charm, including an old fashioned barbeque one of the evenings of their stay; and of course authentic sweet tea. Lodging will be provided at area churches, all of whom are experts at welcoming out of town guests

Website: http://greenwoodhabitat.org/

Cost: $350      Participants: 16

[Flying]

Beaumont, TX is just west of the Louisiana border, 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and right in the middle of gator country. Participants will get a taste of Cajun life during their stay.  The group is housed at area churches.  There is plenty of building to be done here.  If it rains, the group can work in the ReStore.

Website:  http://www.beaumonthabitat.org/HFHJC.asp

Cost: $750      Participants: 18

[Flying]

We serve impoverished families on the Texas-Mexican border in a city that is 96% Hispanic. Participants build homes while learning about the culture of this vibrant city.  Breakfast, lunch and some dinners provided. Groups usually stay in local churches that provide cots for sleeping.

Website: http://www.habitatlaredo.org/about-us/

Cost: $750      Participants: 18

This Experience is for Freshmen only. [Driving]

Marion County is located approximately 45 miles from Myrtle Beach, SC.  We are also located approximately 115 miles from the rich history of Charleston, SC. We afford students Wednesday afternoon off of work in order to enjoy their brief stay in Marion County and visit some of the attractions our state has to offer. Poverty housing is rampant in Marion County and our affiliate is striving to eliminate that by building one quality, affordable home at a time. This site arranges for meals shared with local community members. 

http://www.marionschabitatforhumanity.org/

Cost: $350  Participants:16

[Flying]

Northeast Mississippi has a great need for safe, decent, affordable housing.  Tupelo, MS Habitat meets that need by constructing new homes in areas that need revitalizing.  Our construction manager, Wesley, works closely with the Collegiate Challenge participants teaching them construction skills.  The group will stay in a church located within the community.  In Tupelo, participants will not only enjoy some Southern hospitality but you will enter the birthplace of Elvis!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/nemisshabitat

Cost: $750      Participants: 14

[Driving]

Pickens County HFH has enjoyed hosting college groups since 2000. Participants build new houses in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and may do some limited work in our Restore. Spring temperatures are moderate. Excellent hiking and waterfalls are nearby, along with the amenities of a small college town-Clemson, SC. The group will stay in a local church. Some dinners will be provided.

Website: http://www.pickenshabitat.org/

Cost: $350      Participants: 15

[Flying]

Habitat St. Tammany West is located approximately 45 minutes north of New Orleans in Mandeville, LA. Many of our residents have been here for generations and are seeking to break the cycle of poverty by partnering with Habitat. We currently have 11 families working on their sweat equity hours and are anxiously waiting to move into their homes. Come build with us to help make their dreams of home ownership become a reality.

Website: http://www.habitatstw.org

Cost: $750      Participants: 15

[Driving]

Union-Anson HFH operates in 3 counties. Along with building homes we have a full time home rehab and recycling program to meet the needs of our community. We begin new construction during Collegiate Challenge, so each group will have a myriad of tasks to complete during their stay. Students will lodge at our fully equipped Restore.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided daily.

Website: http://hfh-nc-union.huterra.com/

Cost: $350      Participants: 16