Rebuilding Macon, Georgia
By Chris Reschberger, Business Connections member
For most students, winter break is a time to rest following the nerve-wracking season of cramming for final exams and preparing for the holidays. For one group of business students, however, it is an opportunity to dedicate their spare time to others. Twenty-six members of the Business Connections Learning Community (BCLC) at the University of Connecticut School of Business and other volunteers have chosen to forgo the R&R this season to help those in need.
Together, we travelled to Macon, Georgia to help out those who were less fortunate this winter break. For some students who had never used power tools before, building wheelchair ramps and staircases were practical, hands-on experiences that will be useful skills to know after graduation. Even very easy tasks such as painting and cleaning up yards made a difference for some folks who just needed a few more hands. After one family came home in the afternoon and saw the new stairs that we had built, it was clear that a positive impact had been made, “go on up, honey, the stairs are safe now.” Being able to help people so desperately in need and see the joy in their faces is something none of us will forget. Zack Marcoux said, “One thing I would take back from this trip is how easy it is to make a difference your community.” What the trip really emphasized was that we are all in this together, and when some of us get knocked down, there will always be someone to help you get back on your feet again.
The undergraduates have planned an alternative break trip for tornado relief to Macon, Georgia from January 12 – 20, 2013, volunteering to help the devastated area in partnership with Rebuilding Macon. Rebuilding Macon works with the local community to rehabilitate the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, free of charge. The organization repaired nearly 260 homes last year with the goal of providing a warm, safe, and dry home for those who cant afford repairs.