Leadership Initiatives hosted the annual Bearkat Service Break for over 30 Sam Houston State University students to participate in two different community service projects over spring break.
Leadership Initiatives selected students through an application process to take part in the Bearkat Service Break program over spring break.
Mass Communication freshman Allison Faith was a participant in the service project.
“I decided to sign up for Bearkat Service Break because I wanted to use my spring break to not only better myself but to help others,” Faith said. “When applying I wasn’t sure which trip I would be picked for, but I knew that each trip would provide me with the opportunity to serve others.”
There were two groups involved in the project. Faith was a volunteer at Heifer Ranch in Arkansas. The other group worked with the New Orleans Animal Rescue.
“We spent each day volunteering with a different department at the ranch,” Faith said. “These departments included; Livestock, gardening, fence work, and maintenance. Some of our activities included feeding the animals, fertilizing and preparing the gardens, and cleaning fence lines. Each activity showed us different aspects of sustainable farming which is one of Heifer Ranch’s main cornerstones.”
Heifer Ranch is a part of Heifer International and strives to help end hunger throughout the world. According to Faith, they do this by providing farmers and individuals throughout the world with proper resources and education to start their own sustainable farms.
For Faith, the most memorable part of the experience was spending the night in The Global Village. The Global Village is an interactive activity which allows volunteers to experience a night staying in houses from different parts of the world. Some of the locations featured were Guatemala, Tibet, the Appalachian Mountain Region, Thailand, and a Refugee Camp.
“A lottery was conducted to see where each of us would be staying for the night,” Faith said. “Depending on where we were placed, we had different rights and resources. We did not have our phones and we were required to work with each other to make food and a fire.”
Faith stayed in the Appalachia house which was modeled after houses in the U.S.
“This part was definitely the most memorable because it provided me with a new perspective on how other people live,” Faith said. “This showed us that there are people in our own country who are also struggling with hunger and poverty.”
Even though Faith did not get the chance to relax as much as other students over spring break she said she enjoyed the experience and recommends it to future students.
“Volunteering at Heifer Ranch was a great way to spend my Spring Break,” Faith said. “It was also a great way for Sam Houston to get our name out there and show what bearkats are capable of. I encourage all students to participate in Bearkat Service Break because you will not only learn new things about yourself, but you will also learn about important causes as well.”