Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB)


Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB) is a University of Florida program that provides service-learning trips based on specific social issues during academic breaks. The program strives to create active engaged citizens by encouraging the alternative break movement. Each trip places an emphasis on service, education, and reflection in order to maximize the impact of the experience. UF’s FAB program is just one piece of the national social movement of Alternative Breakers.

Mission

Engage students in social issues through service, education, and reflection.

Vision

To develop a community of life-long active citizens who are committed to positive, sustainable change.



Ways to Get Involved


Trip Advisor

Trip advisors support the Alternative Break Experience by connecting co-curricular and curricular aspects of the service experience and help students to reflect on their experiences to progress participants through the Active Citizen Continuum

Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, the BCLS is hosting 30 different service-based and social issue-focused trips, both internationally and within the Southeastern United States through the Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB) program. Each trip will be planned by the BCLS Staff and student Site Leaders in collaboration with community and faculty/Staff/GA partners.


Site Leader

As a site leader you can expect to develop your skills in a number of ways including:

  • Leading and a team of peers
  • Management of budget and balancing finances
  • Communication skills: managing conflict and team dynamics
  • Relationship development and collaboration with trip participants and and community members
  • Adaptability and anticipating change
  • Time management
  • Confidence in serving in new and unfamiliar spaces

Participant

As a participant you can expect to develop your skills in a number of ways including:

  • Communication skills
  • Followership skills: how to be a good team member
  • Relationship development and collaboration with trip participants and and community members
  • Adaptability
  • Time management
  • Collaboration

FAB TRIP OPPORTUNITIES

Below are descriptions of service trips, the dates, and what social issues the trips encompass.

November 12 - 14th
Social Issue: Health and Human Sciences (Disabilities and Special Needs) 

Date: Nov. 12th -Nov.14th 

Location: Tallahassee, FL 

Website: www.ability1st.info/ 

Ability1st is a community-based non-profit organization that provides services to persons with varying disabilities. The are a community-based organization offering support services, advocacy, and information to empower people with disabilities to live independently. Volunteers will build ramps, install ramp modules, build half-steps, and make repairs. 


January 14 - 17, 2022
Social Issue: Community Development (Farmworkers Rights) 

Date: January 14th -17th  

Location: Apopka, FL 

Website: https://floridafarmworkers.org/ 

The Farmworker Association of Florida’s long-standing mission is to build power among farmworker and rural low-income communities, to respond to and gain control over the social, political, economic, workplace, health, and environmental justice issues that impact their lives. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work next to farmworkers at a local nursery, take the Lake Apopka Toxic Tour, and assist in the community garden. 

Social Issue: Community Development (Farmworkers Rights) 

Date: Jan. 14th-Jan. 17th  

Location: Pierson, FL 

Website: https://floridafarmworkers.org/ 

The Farmworker Association of Florida’s long-standing mission is to build power among farmworker and rural low-income communities, to respond to and gain control over the social, political, economic, workplace, health, and environmental justice issues that impact their lives. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work next to farmworkers at a local nursery and assist in the community garden. 

Social Issue: Human and Civil Rights (Immigration/Social Justice and Advocacy) 

Date: January 14th -17th 

Location: Apopka, FL 

Website: www.hcc-offm.org/service-learning/ 

Hope CommUnity Center is a service-learning community dedicated to empowerment of Central Florida’s immigrant and working poor communities through Education, Advocacy and Spiritual Growth. Participants will be immersed in the daily lives of Central Florida’s immigrant and farm working community, the home to much of the United States citrus, vegetable, and floral industries. Students will spend their mornings working on local farms, plant nurseries, and community gardens to deepen their understanding of where our food comes from. 


March 6 - March 12, 2022
Social Issue: Animals and the Environment (Sustainable Agriculture) 

Date: Mar. 6- Mar. 12th  

Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia 

Website: www.180degreefarm.org 

180° Farm is a non-profit, dedicated to grow, give, teach. They are committed to growing organic fruits and vegetables, along with pasture raised – grass fed meats and eggs. Once harvested, the meat and produce is then given to those who are sick or food insecure in the community. Volunteers will assist with planting, composting animal husbandry and clearing the fields. They will also assist with greenhouse tasks and packing food or local cancer patients.  

  • Social Issue: Human and Civil Rights (Refugee Resettlement) 
  • Date: Mar. 6- Mar. 12th
  • Location: Atlanta, GA 
  • Website: www.cityofrefugeinc.com 
  • The City of Refuge is a non-profit organization dedicated to community development efforts that lead to the stability and sustainability of the local community. City of Refuge offers both life-saving resources and life building tools to individuals and families in Atlanta who are living on the margin. There are many opportunities for volunteer to meet the needs of those we serve while gaining an enriching experience in return. 
  • Social Issue: Health and Human Sciences (Disabilities and Special Needs) 
  • Date: Mar. 6- Mar. 12th 
  • Location: Stone Mountain, GA 
  • Website: www.fodac.org 
  • FODAC‘s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all people with a physical disability, illness or injury by providing refurbished home medical equipment that allows them to have increased mobility and independence in performing the activities of daily living. Over $10 million of equipment and services are provided annually to the disabled community at little or no cost. Volunteers will assist FODAC with warehouse organizing, processing donations of durable medical equipment, and repairing medical equipment. 
Social Issue: Community Development (Disaster Recovery & Rebuilding/Sustainable Living)

Date: Mar. 6- Mar.12th

Location: Panama City FL/Lynn Haven, FL

Website: https://sbpusa.org/

On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle as a category five storm, leaving communities unrecognizable and in ruins. SBP stepped in to directly rebuilt homes for more than 1,200 families. Volunteers can participate in a wide range of tasks that include gutting and demolition, drywall installation, flooring, exterior and interior painting and so much more.

Social Issue: Youth and Education

Date: Mar. 6- Mar.12th

Location: Miami, FL

Website: www.icocharity.org

International Children’s Outreach, Inc. is a 501 C- 3 Non-Profit organization recognized by the United States Federal Government to provide assistance to disadvantaged children and families across the world. ICO strives to educate children and young people on issues such as the preservation of the environment, volunteerism and academic development. Volunteers will be engaged in varying experience to support ICO’s mission.

  • Social Issue: Health and Human Sciences (Disabilities and Special Needs) 
  • Date: Mar. 6- Mar.12th 
  • Location: Macon, GA 
  • Website: www.rebuildingmacon.org 
  • Rebuilding Macon rehabilitates the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, so that they may live in warmth, safety, and independence. Typical repairs include building wheelchair ramps, replacing porches, installing and modifying doors and bathrooms, stabilizing and replacing floors and roofs, painting, and trimming and clearing overgrown trees and bushes. 

Summer 2022

List of trips coming soon!


“This FAB experience humanized the experiences of refugees and made the statistics that we all hear much more realistic. The trip transformed what were originally just numbers that we know into children that endure unimaginable difficulties and still greet strangers with a smile on their face. It made me want to get more involved.”


History

Mary Kay Schneider and Kristy Chase began to plan the first UF Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB) trip in the fall of 1992 under the Gators Involved in Volunteer Endeavors (GIVE) student organization. A group of 21 alternative breakers took their first trip during the 1993 spring break to help reconstruct homes in Miami after Hurricane Andrew and then camped out on the Fiesta Key for two nights.

The following year FAB went on two trips, and then in 1995 the number of trips grew to three. One student wrote of their trip to Washington D.C. in 1995, “I think I found a greater sense of worth. This week gives me something to think about when I may feel that life is not worth the trouble. I have seen the real world, and I have it great.”

Over the years FAB has grown tremendously. Today the organization has 4 Managers and 25 Site Leaders who coordinate trips for Veteran’s Day weekend, winter break, MLK weekend, and spring break trips.



Questions

Want to know more and the FAB program? Connect with our staff at
bcls@ufsa.ufl.edu