From New York City, to California, to Nicaragua and points in between, hundreds of Hope College students will spend break serving others.
More than two dozen service and mission trips have been planned for the college's spring break, which runs Friday, March 17, through Sunday, March 26. The trips are a long-running tradition at the college, with hundreds of students participating annually for the past several years.
More than 300 students will participate in multiple mission trips organized by the college's Campus Ministries Office. In addition, 25 students involved in the college's chapter of Habitat for Humanity will travel to Sumter, S.C.
The Campus Ministries trips will involve a variety of settings, including urban and rural ministry within the United States, and service in the Caribbean and Mexico.
In East Palo Alto, Calif., students will be working with Bayshore Christian Ministries, a year-round ministries program, to help at-risk children.
Students working with Christ Community Church in Pompano Beach, Fla., will practice evangelism on the beach.
In Comer, Ga., students will serve with Jubilee Partners, working with newly arrived refugees from war-torn countries.
A trip to Annville, Ky., has been designed for students interested in the health professions, and will present opportunities to work with local family practice doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and physical therapists. In Hazel Green, Ky., students will work with Impact Missions to connect with the community through participating in work projects.
In Holland, students will reach out to area residents through local organizations and individual efforts.
Students heading to Newark, N.J., will work with World Impact, an inner-city ministry, to tutor children and offer some retail training to residents. In Dulce, N.M., students interested in the health professions will work with local health care providers in addressing the needs of local Native Americans. New Life Fellowship and Street Life Ministries in Queens, N.Y., offer students a chance to participate in urban ministry in a diverse setting.
Apache, Okla., and the Apache Reformed Church will host students as they work with Native Americans of all ages.
Sonshine Ministries in Loysville, Pa., allows students to help in the day-to-day operations of a rehabilitation center for recovering substance abuse victims.
Students traveling to Gulfport, Miss., will be assisting in hurricane relief, following the efforts of Hope student groups that have made three other trips to the area since the fall.
In Philadelphia, Pa., students will team up with the Center for Student Missions to volunteer in food and clothing pantries as well as children's programs and a rescue mission for men.
With Service Over Self in Memphis, Tenn., students will provide improvement assistance to homeowners in the inner-city community.
A total of eight groups of Hope students will travel abroad through the Campus Ministries program this year.
In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, students will work through the Center for Student Missions in soup kitchens and activities such as homeless outreaches, working with day care and the elderly.
Students heading to the Dominican Republic will partner with the Worldwide Christian Schools HANDS Team to build schools for the country's children. Young Life leaders from Hope will also go to the Dominican Republic, to lend a hand with work projects at a Young Life camp, play with children, and lead activities and worship with young adults involved in Young Life. In Honduras, students will work with Bible translators while also staying with a Garifuna family and engaging in a variety of projects.
Students traveling to Jamaica will work with the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf to assist in various construction projects for the organization's deaf school.
In Reynosa, Mexico, students will engage in construction and interact with the children at the Pilar's Hope Home, a shelter for orphans and children needing foster care. Students headed to Tijuana, Mexico, will team up with La Rocca, a program designed to help the city's poor and disadvantaged.
A trip to Nicaragua will allow pre-medical and nursing students a chance to help by making visits to remote villages and public schools to help meet a variety of hygiene and medical needs.
The group of students with Hope's chapter of Habitat for Humanity will travel to Sumter, S.C., to work on building a house.