Alternative Spring Breaks

Tackling Urban Poverty through Self-Sufficiency

Paul’s Place

From March 8-14, alternative breakers will collaborate with Paul’s Place in Baltimore, MD to learn about how the organization tackles urban poverty by promoting self-sufficiency within its community. Paul’s Place is a catalyst and leader for change, improving the quality of life in the Southwest Baltimore communities. The organization provides programs, services, and support that strengthen individuals and families, fostering hope, personal dignity and growth. Paul’s Place hopes that one day the individuals and families living in Southwest Baltimore City will have full access to high quality health care, education, employment, and housing along with the other support necessary for stability and self-sufficiency.

Alternative Breakers will stay at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Parksville, where showers and cooking spaces will be available. Students should be prepared to bring a sleeping bag or other arrangements for sleeping on a floor. 

Sustainable Food, Poverty, & Disability

Lynchburg Grows

From March 7-15, alternative breakers will collaborate with Lynchburg Grows in Lynchburg, VA to learn about how the organization fulfills its unique mission of working with its local community to provide access to healthy food and to afford purposeful jobs to individuals with disabilities. Students will work directly with Lynchburg Grows’ facilities through direct service by harvesting/processing food and preparing/maintaining beds for food production, while learning more about sustainable food production. 

Lynchburg Grows is a seven-acre urban farm dedicated to providing access to fresh, local, produce for Lynchburg residents, restaurants, and organizations, while also providing onsite vocational training for disabled and low-income individuals. The story of Lynchburg Grows is deeply rooted in a sense of community and help and its mission reflects those roots. The organization runs eight greenhouses, seven of which house produce grown with all organic methods. The produce supplies local restaurants and is distributed through Lynchburg Grows’ mobile food van program. 

Alternative Breakers will stay at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynchburg, where showers and cooking spaces will be available. Students should be prepared to bring a sleeping bag or other arrangements for sleeping on a floor. 

Combating Ageism: Living with Dignity & Choice
Senior Connections


From March 7 - 15, alternative breakers will partner with Senior Connections in Richmond, VA to envision seniors living with an improved quality of life. Students will do service in partnership with Senior Connections aimed at empowering seniors to live with dignity and choice. Senior Connections offers a variety of services to senior citizens, including care coordination, medicare and insurance counseling, home provided meals, advocacy and awareness, and more. Previous groups have had many opportunities to interact with seniors at Friendship Cafes, by teaching dances and playing card games and BINGO, and have conversations about areas of mutual and different interests.

Group housing accommodations will be provided by First Baptist Church of Richmond. Students generally sleep on the floors of classroom spaces, have access to a kitchen for group meals, and have access to shower and bathroom facilities.

Accessible and Affordable Health Care
Northen Neck - Middlesex Free Health Clinic


From March 7 - 15, alternative breakers will partner with Northern Neck - Middlesex Free Health Clinic (NNMFHC) in Kilmarnock, VA to assist in administrative tasks in the health clinic and explore the topic of social justice in the health care system. NNMFHC has provided $112,876,244 worth of services from 1993 through 2018, working to fill critical health-care gaps in Virginia. The Clinic serves low-income, uninsured and under-insured residents in Lancaster, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties – an extensive, rural area in Tidewater Virginia.

Group housing accommodations will be provided by NNMFHC. Students will have access to full kitchen facilities, beds and cots, and shower facilities.