By Hannah Everage, junior music therapy major
I signed up for the Alternative Fall Break trip because I personally wanted to be closer to God. I have endured hardships this year involving my mental health and the deaths of a couple of people very close to me. I’ve continued to face challenges in the stability of my faith, and I felt the Alternative Fall Break Trip would allow me to connect back with my faith and give me a chance to humble myself through service and giving back as people have given to me.
For our trip, we volunteered at the Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) in Knoxville, Tennessee. There, we organized clothes for the clothes pantry, served meals to the neighbors (their word for the homeless), worked with volunteers at the shower trailers and, since the majority of our group were music therapists and music majors, we played music for the neighbors as well. Hopefully, there can be another opportunity to come back and serve again in the future with this volunteer center.
Why should others at SMWC consider signing up for an Alternative Break Trip? I personally think it is a wonderful opportunity for SMWC students. As a busy college student, I understand wanting to go home and take a break during fall break. But I don’t think a regular fall break would have given me the spiritual upliftment and privilege to serve in the name of the Lord. Tim Tesmer, SMWC campus minister, was also such a stable and kind presence, which made this trip comfortable and allowed for the trip to run peacefully. We were also able to spend time together as a group and explore this mountainous region of Tennessee, which greatly enhanced our experience.
To a student who may be debating on signing up for an Alternative Break Trip in the future, I would encourage them to take a chance and sign up for the next trip. I have made stronger connections to the people that I already felt connected to, and I have felt privileged to help the neighbors at the VMC. I hope, by my experience, students can see how beneficial it was for me and the group that went. I hope the trips continue to happen each semester.
Hannah Everage is a junior at SMWC majoring in music therapy. Originally from Eminence, Indiana, Hannah has come to love The Woods and the community it has. As a heavily involved student, Hannah is a member in the SMWC Chorale, treasurer for Music Therapy Student Association and is the secretary for the Sustainability Club. She continues to be very involved in Campus Ministry and loves attending events on campus.