September 25, 2023

UMW Students Give Back During Spring Break

Students in Tennessee help clean up debris after a tornado

This week, 51 UMW students are spending Spring Break helping others. The Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) team organized three alternative spring break trips, in Wilmington, N.C., Avery County, N.C., and Cookeville, Tenn., from March 3 through 11. At each location, students are working on Habitat for Humanity projects.

When the rash of tornadoes tore through the Tennessee Valley almost a week ago, the Cookeville group made their way to Overton County, Tenn., a small community just south of the Kentucky border.

In Overton, the students are working with residents to clear debris and sort donations, and are sharing their experiences along the way:

One student took this stark photo of the destruction and captioned it “we were so thankful to have the opportunity to help.”

All three groups will make the trip back to Virginia on Sunday.

“Spring Break is one of my favorite weeks of the year since I get to spend the entire week doing hands-on service with such civic minded students,” Christina Eggenberger, director of service, said.  “The students learn practical skills but more importantly they help and learn about people in need. It is a transformative experience for all involved.”

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.