• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Students gear up for hard labor in Tijuana over the holidays

December 13th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

By Alex Thatcher

LOGAN—Despite their looming final exams and projects, the 40 students who gathered last week for a Charity Anywhere Foundation Info meeting were vibrating with excitement and anticipation.

What they’re looking forward to is a week of hard labor. Once their last papers, projects and exams are finished, they will spend a week of their holiday break in Tijuana doing long days of service including building, roofing, stuccoing and painting houses.

Katie Reynolds, a senior in human resources, went on the same trip over spring break and is excited at the prospect of going again. “It was really amazing,” she said. “It’s awesome to be able to help people like that. They really need it.

“I always wanted to do something to travel and help people,” she said. “This is a good option; it’s a cheap set up.”

Students pay $275 ($475 for non-students) for the trip, which includes everything but gasoline.

“Other than participants’ food, every penny students pay goes to helping the people in Tijuana and toward building supplies,” said Brent Homer, vice president of the USU Charity Anywhere chapter.

Co-founder and former Charity Anywhere chapter president Joey Stocking said it’s cheaper than other trips of its kind, and a good introduction to humanitarian work. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “You make lots of new friends and good social connections.”

Stocking went on his first humanitarian trip three years ago when a roommate invited him. After his second trip, he and a friend, Josh Jones, decided to start a humanitarian club, creating a USU chapter of the Bountiful-based Charity Anywhere Foundation, which sponsors projects to help people primarily across Mexico and Central America.

Volunteers do anything from building houses and handicapped bathrooms to digging out septic tanks and making tire retaining walls. Their workday starts at 7 a.m. and continues until 4 or 5 p.m. There is a little free time and even a planned beach activity, but curfew is 9 p.m. The majority of the time is spent in service.

“Let’s go serve,” said Homer. “Let’s go make a difference in the lives of these people.”

Many have enthusiastically answered the call to serve.

Engineering freshman Tyson Deters went on a Charity Anywhere trip in the spring after seeing an advertisement in the TSC.

“It was amazing,” he said. “I’ve never done anything so awesome in one week. I’ll either go on this one or the one next spring but I’ve gotta go again sometime. Maybe I’ll do both.”

For information about the Charity Anywhere Foundation, see the group’s website.

Tags: , , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.