Owl Breaks Spring Break 2018
FAU's Owl Breaks Spring Break program offers students the opportunity to travel during Spring Break to make a change through direct volunteer work. Each Owl Break trip focuses on a specific social issue, where students are immersed in the local culture, make a difference, and create memories, friendships, and an increased awareness of community.
What is Owl Breaks?
Owl Breaks (formerly known as Alternative Spring Break) is an opportunity to spend your Course/Semester Break, serving a community in need. You will travel with other students and staff members to a city within and outside of Florida where you will immerse yourself in service projects and learn about a particular social issue affecting that community.
Owl Breaks will be one of the best weeks of your life – a chance to dedicate an entire week to serving others and learning about a new community. It's an opportunity to make new friends and come back with a new perspective on a complex issue.
Why is Owl Breaks considered an "alternative" break?
Owl Breaks trips are a week "on" instead of a week "off" – you will have the incredible opportunity to use your break from courses to pursue a love of service and an interest in a particular social issue. Owl Breaks are also substance (drug and alcohol) free, offering students an alternative to the more traditional course (winter, spring, summer) breaks.
What are the benefits of going on an Owl Breaks Trip?
- Use your course/semester break to make a difference
- Make new long-lasting friendships
- Learn about a social issue by working alongside those directly affected
- Build leadership skills and future involvement opportunities
- Travel to a new and interesting city or location
- Immerse yourself in a new culture and lifestyle
- Have fun!
- Give back!
Owl Breaks Fall 2017
Food Insecurity in Fort Myers, FL – November 22-26
In the United States, a little over 12 percent of the population is considered food insecure. The issue of food insecurity is important because having access to quality food should not be a privilege. Furthermore, in Fort Myers, and Lee County, approximately 13.6% of the population or 90,420 people are considered food insecure. More and more families are being faced with choosing between rent or food due to Florida's rising housing costs. Although the Fort Myers area has an extensive network of resources, their pantries are almost always at capacity, an issue compounded by the foreclosure crisis of 2008. An Owl Breaks trip to Fort Myers would educate students about the types of resources that the region has to help and gain a new perspective into the lives of people and families that are considered food insecure.
On this trip, we had 7 participants travel to the Fort Myers area to help Feeding the 5000 and Community Cooperative provide a Thanksgiving meal for people that are less fortunate. Participants shared that they packaged meals for over 6,000 people in need in the Greater Fort Myers area.
Disaster Relief in the Florida Keys, and Key West, FL – December 16-22
At 9:10 a.m. on September 10th, Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key, in the Lower Florida Keys. In the Keys alone, severe flooding took place in Key West, Sugarloaf Key, Summerland Key, Ramrod Key, Little Torch Key, Big Pine Key, and Marathon. The islands are now in a stage of rebuilding, and the focus of this trip will be to help our neighbors to the south continue on the road to getting back to normal. While there are a variety of organizations in the Keys, there is a definite need to have volunteers assist with the rebuilding effort.
For the Winter Break trip, 14 participants traveled to the Florida Keys to work with a variety of agencies that are directed at helping provide ongoing disaster relief to the people and animals that call the Keys home. The community partners that the participants worked with, include: Big Pine Key National Key Deer Preserve, St. Mary's Soup Kitchen, Reef Relief, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.