ANNIE WEBER | CO-NEWS EDITOR
Butler students have the opportunity to travel to Appalachia through the Fall Alternative Break program. The deadline to apply is Sept. 10 and applicants will hear back by Sept. 14. The cost of the trip is $150.
The trip is intended for students “to learn about and serve a community by addressing the issue of affordable housing,” according to the Butler Connection.
Butler’s Volunteer Center organizes and plans Fall Alternative Break every year. Thirty students and a few faculty or staff members will leave for Appalachia Oct. 14 and return Oct. 18.
The specific location of the trip has yet to be determined, but it will be in the Appalachian area.
The location and volunteer opportunities for FAB change each year. Over the past five years, FAB participants have visited Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia or Kentucky.
Students serve the communities they visit through various volunteering, such as constructing houses and building parks.
Megan Soderlund, a junior education major, went to Jonesville, Virginia, last year and built support for houses built against mountains that were prone to flood damage.
“This opened my eyes as to why parts of Appalachia are such impoverished areas,” Soderlund said. “It was very humbling work, and I got to bond with people I may never would have met.”
In addition to volunteering, attendees participate local activities. In the past, students have been able to attend a local music festivals, hike the Smoky Mountains or white river raft, among other activities.
Aaron Brenner, senior chemistry major, is on the executive board for FAB and attended the trip last year.
“Fall Alternative Break has been one of the highlights of my college career,” Brenner said. “It combines service, forming new friendships and learning how to become an active citizen in the community. I would highly encourage anyone who is thinking about apply to do so because it is an experience that I will take with me forever.”
To support the group going this year, donations can be made at this website.