Mizzou Alternative Breaks Continues to Grow and Serve

Danielle Katz

Mizzou Alternative Breaks is an active on-campus organization with a stronger off-campus impact.

MAB sends out groups of around 12 students, usually of 10 participants and 2 site leaders, on service trips to serve global issues in a variety of locations, ranging from Arizona to Florida.

The organization has grown exponentially over the past few years. The number of service trips and participants has nearly doubled each year since 2010, when 8 trips were offered and 88 students participated. The amount of service trips has jumped from 69 trips during 2013-2014 year to 133 trips for the 2014-2015 year, as more winter and spring service trips have been added and weekend trips are now offered.

“As long as we have increased demand, we’ll keep growing to match that demand because it all goes back to if you want to serve and have the ability to serve, then why should we limit that?” said MAB director of spring service trips, Hai Kim. “And so as long as we have the means to do so, we’ll continue to grow to make sure that everyone who has that heart to serve can really give in whatever capacity they can”

There are32 winter break trips and 65 spring break trips planned for this year, and throughout the planning and duration of these trips, there are seven ideals that participants and site leaders strive to uphold. The primary principle is “serve, don’t help”.

“The mentality we try to take with these trips is that we’re going there to serve them as equals, so the idea is that we’re going to learn as much from them as they are going to learn from us,” said Charles Gutierrez, MAB executive director. “It really puts service on more of an equal playing field. We’re just people that come from different walks of life. You share the talents and resources that you have, and I think that’s what really makes all the difference with our trips.”

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