U of M-Flint students tackle alternative spring break projects at Carriage Town Ministries

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FLINT (WJRT) (02/28/18) - A week on, instead of a week off.

University of Michigan-Flint students are getting into the spirit of alternative spring break by lending a hand at Carriage Town Ministries.

"We're at seven different locations and doing a variety of service projects, and it's really about giving back to the community. It's way more fulfilling to donate your time and get a new perspective on the city," said Zachary Hayes.

This is the sixth year that University of Michigan-Flint's Outreach Office has organized the initiative.

"A lot of universities take their students and go out of town. We feel its really important to work alongside our community partners, right here in the city of Flint," said Program Manager Gary Ashley.

Students spent Wednesday morning helping Carriage Town meet its monthly goal of making 1,000 sandwiches.

"Something like a peanut butter sandwich may be insignificant to us, but that could be the only meal they have in a day, so it's really making a difference in the lives of a lot of people," said student Anthony Napolitino.

The kids are also working with CTM's Blue Line Donuts, which supports first responders, while providing job training skills. There's also step one of a large, warm weather project taking shape as well.

"We are going to build a playground for the neighborhood and the first thing is we have to inventory our fencing," said CTM's Community Engagement Director Cindy Johns.

Carriage Town's staff appreciates the extra hands and energy that comes with team of 40 volunteers.

"It's very exciting and impactful. They move a project forward quite a bit on a day like today," said Johns.

The student plan to live up to their motto of "More than Day, a Year of Expression."

"It's important for us at University of Michigan-Flint to not just go into an organization for a day or week, but to have a relationship and continue to come back," said Ashley.

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