Thursday, March 8, 2018

Alternative Spring Break trades sun for service

Like many of his classmates at the University of Illinois Springfield, Eric Loera is already looking ahead to his big spring break trip.

“It’s going to be the farthest I’ve gone, personally, to Texas,” Loera said.

But while his classmates are soaking up the sun on the beach, Loera is going to be gutting homes that soaked up a little too much water.

“We’re going to be doing demolition,” he said. “Tearing down the houses that were ravaged by the hurricane.”

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast more than six months ago. The storm then dumped torrential rains on southeast Texas — including more than 32 inches in Beaumont alone. The winds have died down. The flood waters have receded. But the storm’s impact remains.

But those in need were not forgotten by the team in charge of the UIS Alternative Spring Break trip. 

“When the hurricane was happening, there wasn’t that much we could do,” said organization president Hailey Hawkins. “I knew [our trip] would be a great opportunity for students to go to Texas and really help these people.”

The ASB crew plans to leave early Sunday morning and return late on March 17.

This story aired on WAND TV on March 7, 2018.

Watch the story online.