The Alternative Winter Break Program
Since January 2006, the Wheaton College Alternative Winter Break Program has been traveling to New Orleans every year to provide the city with continued relief following Hurricane Katrina. The club has traditionally worked in the lower ninth ward, where the impact of Katrina was substantial. In recent years, our work has consisted largely of refurbishing the interior and exterior of homes.
Alternative Winter Break Trip '17 (photo courtesy of Joey Batson)
Current Events in Florida
This year, however, given the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the club plans to travel instead to Florida. In Florida, relief measures are at a much earlier stage of recovery then in New Orleans. Providing relief at this pivotal stage of recovery is an opportunity for the club to make a meaningful impact on a community that’s still coming to terms with the aftermath of Irma. Being among the first to assuage the destruction of the storm and begin the process of rebuilding is an experience that will benefit both volunteers and community members alike.
Because it is a student run club, the Alternative Winter Break Program is very small and contained to Wheaton. There are no administrative costs, and all of the money that is fundraised by the club goes directly to offsetting the cost of the trip for participants. The biggest costs for the club are travel, transportation, and meals. Alternative Winter Break hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year, including bake sales, childcare, and selling raffle tickets. Please consider supporting the club either by donation or attending a fundraiser!