What are You doing for Spring Break 2009?

Many of you are aware that I teach 2 sections of social problems each semester at UWW. I have to say that I really have grown to love this class, as it alludes to the idea of working together to help those in need.  Last year CNN began a contest entitled the CNN Hero of the Year. Basically they present a list of 10 individuals who are doing some extraorinary things around the globe to be voted on by the public.  Check out this ARTICLE on the 2008 winner who started the St. Bernard Parish Project (click HERE to watch a YouTube video on the project).

Although I’m aware that I’m getting older and probably tend to dwell on what many students may characterize as “less important”, but I have to say I’d love to take a trip down to New Orleans this coming Spring Break to help out with this project.  Much of the study of social problems tends to concentrate on the causes of problems; however, this project is centered on being part of the solution to a major problem (I think it’s just a really cool program).

Anyway, I know you’re busy this semester with exams and all, but take a little time out and check these two articles out (as well as the YouTube video) and let me know what you think.  Like I stated, I’d love to get a team of students together and cruise down to the Ninth Ward to help out.

11 responses to “What are You doing for Spring Break 2009?”

  1. Ashley Von Eschen says:

    I loved reading about those ten people and what they have done to help people in need out. I was really touched by the youtube video though. Having the community come together to pull each other through this is a very cool thing to see. I think that it is sad that the government has let the ball drop on this though. It is also sad that the rest of the country has moved on with their lives and forgot about those people who are still suffering two years later. By now their community should be what it was before the storm. I could not imagine living in a trailer for two years, yet that is their living situations. I would be totally interested in going down there and helping them rebuild their community.

  2. Katie Gottschalk says:

    I also would be interested and would like updates if possible. I think that people helping people is an amazing thing and we really are in need of that kind of hands on help. All of those people listed in the article seemed like they have done amazing things in their life and are continuing to support others and help them grow. It goes to show that one person with some ambition can work towards change for thousands of others.

  3. abbey davis says:

    I feel really bad for all of those who have had their lives change because of these natural disasters.Like it was said before, I couldn’t imagine living in the enviornments these people have been forced to live in. It’s also sad to me that much of the country has forgotten about the life changing events they’ve come to live with. After all of the initial shock has worn off people tend to put situations like these on the back burner. I’m so glad that some have stuck it out and remained in this disaster area to rebuild their lives. It really shows that they really do love their home and will go to extreme measures to fix it. I think that’s it’s really important that we as a zcountry don’t forget about these peopleand their hardships. I also think it’s really great that there are people willing to devote their time and energy to assist others. I unfortunately already have plans for this years spring break but think it’s a great idea.

  4. Karen Drydyk says:

    This was a natural disaster comparable to tsunamis that occur on a yearly basis in Asia. I feel that we as America have done little to prepare for these types of problems. I think people should make a home wherever they can, but I have some drawbacks about rebuilding homes in the area. I believe we need to prepare for people moving away from the costs in the coming years and toward the inland, because if the scientists are right, there will be many more disasters like this. I have a huge heart and want to help these people, but I do not think rebuilding in a disaster prone area will help at all, unless these new homes and buildings can withstand a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina.

    I wrote a poem my junior year of high school:

    We will
    initiate reparations
    until the catastrophe
    has struck.

    I think we need to take preemptive measures for leaving behind these pieces of land. I want to rebuild our infrastructure.

    I know that people are attached to their homeland, but we cannot push funds into an area that may be destroyed over and over.

    Over spring break, I may travel to Georgia to show my dismay with the School of Americas. I know this is standing against something, but I’m just not sure how else to stop governmental terrorism. I try my best to stand as an example of love, compassion, and kind intelligence in my daily life and to educate others on the ways of our government and economy that do not stand on the side of good in our eternal tango with the forces of good and evil.

  5. Alyssa Skiba says:

    I think it is absolutely amazing and truly inspirational that not all of these CNN Heroes were directly impacted by the social causes that they support, but half of them were indirectly influenced/”moved” by witnessing or hearing the accounts of the issues they supported. Running past homeless men and being influenced to do something about it? That is amazing. If every person in New York City who walks past a homeless person (and I say this because I’ve been to NYC twice and it was my first encounter with the back-of-the-alley homeless that are the subject of cartoon criticism) did something, homelessness would definitely be eradicated in NYC.

    And perhaps I’m not the only person who feels this way, but when I see and hear about these people who witness and experience the same things that hundreds of thousands of other people witness and THEY do something about it, I feel like I’m not contributing to society on the scale that I should be. These people have families and full-time jobs too…but they also have the power and passion within their own hearts and minds to help out.

    The greatest thing about these CNN Heroes?…CNN has a SEARCH for these people…they don’t wake up in the morning and grab a flag that says ‘I HAVE HELPED 10,000 GIRLS GET BETTER EDUCATION!’ They are nominated because their work is witnessed by others. They are not doing it for the fame. Beautifully selfless.

  6. Jimmy Lee says:

    It just shows that people don’t have to be directly impacted by a social problem to be able to contribute to it positively. People are always making excuses that they are too busy with their life to contribute to their community, but the people in the article and video have families and work too, but they’re not making those as excuses. If there were more people who were more compassionate like these individuals the world would be a better place.

  7. Amanda says:

    Like everyone else, I am struck with the dedication these heroes have for helping others. If I could just volunteer for a living I would, because I believe that is one of our purposes for being here in the first place; to love and serve each other. Unfortunately, I do side with Karen on this particular issue. I think rebuilding the New Orleans area is a bit like spooning out the ocean out with a measuring cup. I believe we have just begun to see the destruction that Mother Nature is capable of doing to our coastline cities. That said, I would still go to the Ninth Ward just so I could help. It would be a tremendous growing experience and an opportunity to help in a way that I have never been able to do before.

  8. Ashley says:

    I think its just amazing to see what these people are doing. They are lending a hand to random strangers just because they know that they need help. I guess i agree with karen and Amanda because its going to take ALOT of time and many resources to rebuild but its always worth a shot. I would go and help over spring break in a heart beat. I feel like its something that as citizens we should go because imagine if the situation was reversed, you would want people to come help you when you have lost everything.

  9. E Henry says:

    I am impressed with everything these ten are doing! It is so wonderful to see that there are still people out there that put others before themselves, and I love seeing and hearing about them because I feel there is far too little out there that do care! A few years ago, my family and I lost everything we owned in a house fire….out of all of our neighbors 1 came that we did not even know and gave us a $500 ck from her church, gestures like these is what makes a difference to people. I for one would love to go to New Orleans and help out because I know how it feels to loose everything and not know where to go from there!

  10. Cathy Lucarz says:

    I think it is so wonderful that people, especially communities, are so selfless and spend time volunteering. Not all communities pull together like that, but I think more should follow this example. The feeling one gets from helping someone else out is priceless- I am actually surprised more people do not do more for others. But I shouldn’t really talk because I have not done as much as I could to help others out- but I am still content with what I have been able to do. Either way, these people in the articles are just some of the positive examples we need to see more of.

  11. Elisabeth Callahan says:

    Im up for it! I am really glad you choose this article to be one of the last ones of the semester because like you stated their are many promblems in our world today and with class titled “Social Problems” its easy to focus only on the negatives rather then realizing the solution can and should be acheiable. Life is not fair, but i feel it is my social obligation to make it a little fairer for others when i can. People can do some pretty amazing things and i think it is important for everyone to contribute to the betterment of society in their own unique way.

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