For Spring Break 2010, I could have stayed at home watching TV, getting the sleep homework usually takes away, or reading leisurely, but instead I decided make spring break more productive. Back in 2008, OU’s Center for Civic Engagement offered a service trip to Savannah and they did again this year. I was excited because I loved volunteering and, of course, Savannah!
Compared to my experience during the 2008 Savannah project, we accomplished even more. Our group cleaned up the beach at Tybee Island, organized 22,000 pounds of beans for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, landscaped a garden at the Union Mission’s Magdalene Project house for women and children, and played with kids at a local YMCA. My favorite volunteer project was the Tybee Island beach clean-up, where we picked up the usual cigarette butts and plastic trash, but also some unusual items–like a pair of bikini bottoms!
OU’s President Schall also stopped by to help with cleaning the beach and came along with us for the Oglethorpe history tour around the grand city of Savannah. During the tour, we visited the Telfair Museum of Art, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and most of the squares around the city, including one where the James Oglethorpe’s statue was erected. My favorite places were River Street and the locations reported to be haunted. I’m a huge fan of the supernatural, and I explored the Colonial Cemetery on the corner of Abercorn Street and Oglethorpe Avenue. There, I took a lot of pictures hoping I would catch a few ghosts. Unfortunately, I caught none.
Going to Savannah and Tybee Island this year was the last time I’ll go down there for volunteer work, because for Spring Break ’11, I’m going to help out with the CCE at New Orleans. From this trip, I learned you don’t have to party hard or go to extravagant places over spring break in order to have a satisfying experience. Someone saying, “thank you” with a bright, warm smile after helping them is satisfying enough.