Fall Alternative BreakWhile spending five days in the mountains of West Virginia with 30 Butler students might not be everyone’s idea of a great Fall Break, Fall Alternative Break (FAB) Vice President

Faith Lindsay ’12 says it’s been one of her favorite Butler experiences.

“I’ve been on FAB every year and that has made a huge impact on my college experience,” said Lindsay.“One of the most memorable things about FAB is that we have the opportunity to listen to stories from those living in the Appalachian area. It is truly amazing the pride and passion they have for their home and culture and it is so inspiring to hear them come together as a community.”

This year’s FAB group traveled to Pipestern, W. Va. to volunteer at the Appalachian South Folklife Center. There they lived in bunk-style housing and worked with a family who had just purchased their first house. The group’s goal was to help the family get on their feet and create a better home for them by repairing and painting the entire house.

“I think it’s a very productive way to spend fall break,” said FAB President Jon Himes ’12. “At Butler, we all have so many things going on between classes and student involvement, but there’s something special about going to the mountains and getting away from it all. It’s a good time to get re-focused, re-energized and do some good service along the way.”

In addition to the service project, the students had down time to participate in cultural events and reflection activities, and hike through the Appalachian Mountains. They also listened to a speaker talk about mountain-top coal removal and its environmental impact on the Appalachian Mountains, as well as attended an interactive musical festival.

“One of my favorite parts of the trip was the view from our hike in the Appalachian Mountains,” said Lindsay. “We all sat there for about an hour just taking in the view and everything the mountains had to offer. It was a nice way to relax and appreciate a different community.”

In order to put together a successful FAB trip, the executive board works hard to select a site that promises meaningful service and provides a balance between cultural experience, manual labor and education. Serving on the board with Himes and Lindsay are Education/Reflection Chairs Alissa Kent ’13 and Paige Sjoerdsma ’13, and Fundraising Chairs Samantha Helferich ’14 and Hayley Jones ’14. Associate Director of PuLSE Julie Pakenham serves as the staff advisor.

“As the FAB advisor, it’s really rewarding to get to know the students who go on the trips,” said Pakenham. “The team gets to know each other away from the everyday pressures of life on campus and, as a result, we have great conversations, learn about each other, and laugh a lot.It is a lot of work to plan the trip, but it is well worth it.”

Himes was especially pleased with the outcome of this year’s trip and thought the trip ended on a very positive note.

“This year we had a very cohesive and passionate group of people,” said Himes. “Everyone was very engaged in all the activities and interested in doing service which created a strong bond between us. This was my last Fall Alternative Break and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.”

Media Contact: Lexie Beach