Guatemala Mission Trip
The Office of Student Activities offers a variety of service opportunities throughout the year for traditional undergraduate students. Service is a component that fits directly into the Queens University of Charlotte motto, Non ministrari, sed ministrare - "Not to be served, but to serve." Following each outreach opportunity, students are given debriefing questions to reflect on their experience.
A Brush with Kindness - Charlotte's Habitat for Humanity's A Brush With Kindness is a locally-operated program serving low-income homeowners who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes. A Brush With Kindness ensures that families live in safe and well maintained homes.
Classroom Central: A local non-profit that provides a free store for teachers who work at low income schools. Teachers are given an allotment from which they can purchase supplies for their students and classroom space. Volunteers are needed to assist with teacher checkouts, loading teacher's cars and sorting merchandise in the warehouse.
Crisis Assistance Ministry: Crisis Assistance Ministry is a local non-profit agency which has a Free Store which allows Charlotte individual and families to shop for clothing, housewares, furniture and appliances at no cost. Volunteers are needed to organize and inspect clothing and goods in the Free Store.
Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation: Mecklenburg County boasts 210 parks and over 17,000 acres of parkland. Queens students have been actively involved in beautifying various parks and greenways as well as build an all accessible playground. Queens students have a special connection to Freedom Park which is located within walking distance to campus.
MLK Fun Day - Queens partners with Right Moves for Youth, bringing 100 middle schoolers to campus to learn about King's life and the Civil Rights Movement. The day-long series of events is also designed to expose these young people to university life and to encourage them to stay on the path toward higher education.
Room in the Inn: These neighbors are homeless individuals from the Charlotte community who during the cold nights of winter have nowhere to stay. Every Tuesday, six guests enjoy a cozy home for the night on campus.
Second Harvest Food Bank: Second Harvest Food Bank is warehouse which holds the primary source of food given to charitable agencies that assist people in need. Second Harvest focuses in particular on the 160,000 children and seniors who live in poverty. Before volunteers are assigned the task of sorting and organizing mass quantities of food/grocery items, a tour of the facility is provided.
Sedgefield Elementary School - Queens University of Charlotte and Sedgefield Elementary School of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School System have partnered as Queens' long-term project for systemic and sustainable change. Conveniently located less than ten minutes from the Queens main campus, students, faculty, and staff enjoy short commutes to their individual, group and service-learning volunteer projects at Sedgefield Elementary School. With a variety of yearly goals set by the elementary school, Queens has ample opportunities for which to volunteer at this facility. Students from any and all majors, and faculty and staff with various backgrounds and experiences join together with the Sedgefield Volunteer Project.
Uptown Men's Shelter: Uptown Men's Shelter provides a safe, secure place for 268 men to live while experiencing a transition to more permanent housing. In 1985, Charlotte experienced an increase of homeless men which prompted the opening of this shelter. Volunteers are needed to assist the residents in resume building and basic maintenance of the facility.
Urban Ministry: Urban Ministry is a non-profit organization that provides a free lunch 365 days a year, hot showers, laundry, bus passes as well as counseling services. Volunteers are asked to help serve a warm meal to the increasing number of Charlotte residents.
Alternative Break Service Trips:
Guatemala Mission Trip: Spring Break
Annually, a group of 15-16 students and 3 advisors travel to Guatemala for spring break. This is a three-fold mission that focuses on self awareness, the people of Guatemala, and God. Students prepare with a 3-hr credit semester long class that teaches about the history and culture of Guatemala and begins to bond the team in preparation for the trip. During the 10-day trip, the group works on a physical work project, visits co-ops, and attends local churches and presentations. It is a trip centered around understanding and growth.
Alternative Thanksgiving Service Trip: New Orleans
Since 2005 members of the Queens University of Charlotte have given their Thanksgiving breaks to serve the New Orleans, LA community to help re-build parts of the city still devastated from Hurricane Katrina. This November will mark the 8th trip to New Orleans that the student organization, Build4Cause, has planned. Through strenuous fundraising efforts this year, 22 students and 3 chaperones will travel 750 miles to the Gulf Coast to give back. Students will work with the St. Bernard Project to assist with the rebuilding efforts on three to four homes over the course of the week. While in New Orleans, volunteers will also give back by serving Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate, and will visit Port Fourchon, LA, the site of the more recent Hurricane Isaac.
Alternative Spring Break Trip: New York
Build4Cause traveled to New York City in Spring 2013 for its inaugural Alternative Spring Break trip to assist with rehabilitation efforts from Hurricane Sandy which made landfall in October 2012. Fifteen students and three advisors worked on homes and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Long Beach Island, NY for the duration of the Spring Break week. Build4Cause looks to continue its efforts to give assistance to its domestic neighbors as needed.