Community Living and Disabilities in Clinton, IA
Leaders: Bryan Boyce '08 and Allison Wisco '08
History and Community in Kansas City, KS/MO
Leaders: Zach Razavi '08 and Alex Brooks '08
Inner City Youth and Education in Chicago, IL
Leaders: Caroline Bowker '09 and Grace Marengo Sanchez '10
Community Homestead in Osceola, WI
Leaders: Ann McCullough '08 and Christine Bruckner '08 Our trip to Community Homestead in Osceola, WI was a rejuvenating, eye-opening, and invigorating experience. Over the course of one week, our group spent quality time with the diverse and inspiring members of this small, intentional community as we worked alongside the members, ate in their homes, and learned from our conversations with them. Consisting of 6 households on a small, organic dairy and vegetable farm, Community Homestead is an environment in which the health of the community depends on the whole health of each individual and on the health of the land on which it is located. Every member, therefore, contributes in a meaningful way to the farm through their work in the garden, in the woodshop, in the bakery, or by making crafts to sell. About half of the adults living in the community have various physical or developmental disabilities, yet they are an integral part of the functioning of the community. We spent the mornings working in the basement of the community center putting up sheet rock to help with the construction of a space where the entire community can gather. In the afternoons, we split up into small groups to participate in the various activities and responsibilities of the community members. Afternoon activities included: harvesting vegetables, collecting eggs, milking cows, sanding crafts in the woodshop, sewing, painting, yard work, and baking. We spent our lunches and dinners in the homes of the community members, each day rotating the home so as to allow each group participant to share a meal with each household. At the end of week, we were rewarded with the wonderful interactions we had accumulated during our time there, as well as a lively barn dance following the weekly potluck. We left feeling overwhelmed by the meaningful experiences we had gained, as well as by the warm hospitality with which we were met.
Community Outreach in Minneapolis, MN
Leaders: Mikel Shybut '10 and Chris Williams '10 Our Fall Alternative Break trip to Minneapolis consisted of 8 group members and 2 co-leaders, and was based on poverty and community issues. For three of our days, our group worked at Arc's Value Village (a thrift store), where we helped sort various items, tag them with prices, and display them in the store. We also interacted with customers and helped organize already-existing displays. For two days, our group worked at two different women's shelters in the Minneapolis area (St. Anne's and Ascension Place), where we learned about poverty from the perspective of institutions that deal with the issue. We also worked on various projects, including raking leaves, disinfecting toys, rearranging and moving items around the womens shelters, and painting. Additionally, at the church we were staying at, we helped reorganize and label all the kitchen cabinets and drawers, and also removed weeds and vines from the outside of the building.