Tarleton students participate in Alternative Spring Break

By Renee Burns

Multimedia Journalist

A group of Tarleton State University students went to Panama City, Florida, to aid in disaster relief spanning March 7 through the 12 with a group known as Alternative Spring Break (ASB).

“Alternative Spring Break is pretty much a trip where Tarleton students go down to an area in the nation that’s been struck by a natural disaster (and) doesn’t have the resources and manpower to rebuild their community,” student director for ASB, Mark Woods said. “We’ll rebuild the homes of those who lost everything or those who just can’t afford to fix what they lost.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Woods

This is the second year ASB visited Panama City due to the hurricane activity the city has seen recently.

“The hurricane season last year wasn’t the worst, but there were a few and Panama did get a little bit of the tip of the hurricane that swept through there. So, I figured that it’d be good to go back down there to help them,” Woods said. “We went to Houston two years ago and it was more flooding, but last year we went to Panama City and it was like a tornado swept through there. So I’m sure the damage is still going to be there and since they got hit with the last hurricane, I figured it would be worse.”

While in Panama City, students did a variety of things to help community members including picking up trash, rebuilding homes and putting up fences. The plan for the trip was to do the projects that needed to be done on a day to day basis.

Photo courtesy of Mark Woods
Members of ASB helping out in Panama City

“We go on a day to day basis,” Woods said when asked about their schedule. “Sometimes we’ll clean up trash on the highway. Other times we’ll be putting sheetrock up for a house that’s been totaled. Or we’ll be cutting down tree limbs or raking leaves, building fence or tearing down a fence. It’s just a day to day basis thing.”

When the group started on Tarleton’s campus in 2012, they had just a handful of students. Now ASB has grown to be about 35 members who are involved each year. There were 31 students and three advisors who were able to make the trip to Panama City this year.

For more information and to see photos from their trip, as well as past trips, you can check out their Instagram and Twitter @TarletonServes.

Photo gallery courtesy of Mark Woods

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