Every week, members and partners of the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) community will share their Alternative Stories, a series of narratives inspired by the experiences, memories, and meanings made and shared through ASB. Organizational Studies junior and site leader Lejla Bajgoric shares her story this week.
At first I was hesitant. We’d be travelling all the way to New York City to perform some type of service work for a week. I wondered if I and the 10 other members on the trip would actually feel as though we were part of the community, fully embedded within it, functional units of it. The organization at which we would serve is itself unique and special to New York. New York, in general, was practically brand new to us all. But I guess that’s the magic of God’s Love We Deliver.
By our third day of performing prep duty in the kitchen, we had formed such a bond with the crew that upon arriving for our shift on day four, we were surprised with breakfast: scrambled eggs, muffins and more, just for the Alternative Spring Breakers. God’s Love makes, prepares, packages and delivers thousands of meals a day to individuals with severe illnesses like HIV/AIDS; this surprise breakfast is just one account that summarized how at home we felt in a place so far away, while working for a nonprofit with a name and mission new to us all. The individuals working and regularly volunteering at God’s Love, like similar organizations, genuinely want to be there because they believe in the power of community building. This is an environment where no one is a stranger, and you take a genuine interest in anyone who comes in through the doors offering a helping hand, even us interesting kids from Michigan with the funny accents.
This type of community bond makes the service work that much more meaningful and the experience itself that much more memorable.
To share your Alternative Spring Break story, e-mail the ASB Public Relations Team at ASBSurPRise@umich.edu.