SBE Students Give Back to the Community: Spring Break 2014
School of Biology and Ecology students Stephanie Faranda and Gabriella Sanchez spent the first week of their spring break volunteering in Virginia at Liberty Hall Farm Animal Sanctuary as a part of UMaine’s Alternative Breaks program. Alternative Breaks is a non-profit, volunteer, student lead organization that promotes community involvement.
“It was cool to broaden my horizons and get involved, and it was great to be with people in my major,” said Sanchez, a third year biology student with a concentration in pre-medical studies. “I’ve been trying to get involved since freshmen year and I finally did and it was so much fun.”
The group of eleven stayed at a local church, spending their days helping around the farm. Some services they provided were collecting eggs, cleaning up around the farm store, constructing chicken coops, cleaning stalls, feeding the animals, spreading gravel, unloading and stacking hay, and most importantly, playing with the animals! The last day of their trip was spent exploring Washington D.C.
“I heard about Alternative Breaks through my sorority sister, she would always talk about how fun her experiences were on her trip, so I thought I would try it out!” said Faranda, third year Zoology student with a minor in animal science.
For this particular trip, the participants held various fundraising events, and all money raised went towards their trip. Some fundraising included a tootsie roll drive outside a local grocery store, a Yankee Candle and Castine Candle drive, two Mac’s Kettle Corn fundraisers, and a silent auction.
Both students were extremely happy to spend part of their spring break getting involved and giving back to their community. “We could really see how much we positively impacted both the people and the animals at the farm by just doing simple, everyday chores that wouldn’t have gotten done without the help from our group and other AB groups,” said Stephanie.