Nov. 20, 2019

Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353, ricesm@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. – This year 95 University of Missouri students will be shortening their Thanksgiving breaks to volunteer before celebrating the holiday. The students will be volunteering in six different states, including the group’s first service trip to Kansas.

Mizzou Alternative Breaks student leaders Ola Babalola, Megan Allen and Lillie Bradshaw, recently celebrated the student led organization's partnership with MU Extension to serve all 114 counties in Missouri.

Mizzou Alternative Breaks student leaders Ola Babalola, Megan Allen and Lillie Bradshaw, recently celebrated the student led organization's partnership with MU Extension to serve all 114 counties in Missouri. The student leaders are overseeing multiple service trips over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The students are part of Mizzou Alternative Breaks, a student-led program that sends students across the United States and abroad to serve communities in need.

“One thing that always sets Mizzou students apart from other students is their eagerness to serve others,” said Jeff Zeilenga, dean of students. “To have nearly 100 students forego a holiday at home to volunteer is a testament to what makes our students special.”

From Nov. 22-27 Mizzou Alternative Breaks participants will learn about important community issues, including education, health, homelessness and more. Volunteer locations and organizations include:

  • Little Rock – Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Camp Aldersgate, Women and Children First, Little Rock Compassion Center and Immerse Arkansas
  • Nashville – McNeilly Center and Cottage Grove
  • Tulsa – Junior Achievement, Iron Gate Good Packaging and Food Bank of Eastern Tulsa
  • Chicago – Cradles to Crayons, Cornerstone Community Outreach, Community Threads
  • Memphis – Youth Villages, Mid-South Food Bank and Shelby Farms Park
  • Omaha – Mosaic, Heart Ministry Center, Child Saving Institute, Heartland Hope Mission and Keep Omaha Beautiful
  • Oklahoma City – Daily Living Center
  • New Johnsonville – Johnsonville State Historic Park
  • Mayetta – Potawatomi Boys and Girls Club

“Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and giving back,” said Ola Babalola, director of leadership development for Mizzou Alternative Breaks and a senior at Mizzou. “Our service trips are a way for students to not only give back to others but also to learn about the issues facing communities across the country, including homelessness and poverty.”

Mizzou Alternative Breaks trips go out over Thanksgiving, winter, spring, summer and weekend breaks. The program is completely student-led, meaning all participants who go on trips, site leaders who plan trips and executive board members who oversee the management of trips are Mizzou undergraduate or graduate students

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