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The Year in Service: Rebuilding Biloxi

Part one of a five-part series on giving back to the community

Click the slide shows above to learn more about this year’s Alternative Spring Break trip to Biloxi, Miss.

Whether they’re delivering food to local homeless shelters or cleaning up the disaster-stricken Gulf Coast, many students at Boston University are eager to help people in need,  in Boston and beyond. BU’s Community Service Center, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past spring, is a great place for students to seek volunteer opportunities. With 13 student-run service programs — including the popular Alternative Spring Break and Student Food Rescue programs — and a volunteer base of approximately 1,500 people, the CSC clocks in more than 75,000 service hours each year.

In this series, BU Today looks at five community service projects undertaken by BU students during the 2006-2007 academic year. Check back tomorrow for “FYSOP Opens Up Boston and BU.”

Rebuilding Biloxi: An ASB Story
What we gave and what we took away

By Jessica Ullian

Each year, Boston University’s Community Service Center sends hundreds of students into disaster zones and troubled communities across the country. The Alternative Spring Break program, founded in 1987, gives students the opportunity to spend their vacation working in a community in need, an experience that often starts with a 24-plus hour van ride to the destination.

This year, students traveled to 23 volunteer destinations. We chose to go to Biloxi, Miss., a Gulf Coast city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Our group, 12 students and a staff chaperone, spent a week living and working with the relief organization Hands On Gulf Coast. We planted gardens, painted houses, played with children — and learned what it takes to rebuild a ruined city.

Rebuilding Biloxi originally appeared on
BU Today in March 2007.