Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-7512


Service Learning

Mississippi: Spring Break 07


View photos from Mississippi

Ten students and a staff member spent Spring Break in Mississippi with Hands On Gulf Coast http://www.handsongulfcoast.org/, a disaster response project in Biloxi that formed after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The students joined a unique residential community of service composed of around 200 other Spring Breakers, AmeriCorps staff (NCCC) http://www.americorps.gov/about/programs/nccc.asp, short and long-term volunteers, and Hands On full-time staff. They lived and ate together in a huge hall behind Beauvoir United Methodist Church in Biloxi. Each day, volunteers checked the job board for their work assignments related to housing, child care, and the environment. Each day one group was assigned to cook, clean, and do other chores for the Hands On community.

Students gutted houses, put up siding, painted, caulked, cleared refuse from empty lots, combed the seashore for hurricane-related debris, pulled bushes and vines from damaged National Park fences, widened a community walking trail, served food at the Salvation Army tent to volunteers from across Biloxi, and posted signs on a pristine barrier island to protect nesting seabird habitats.

After work, the Hands On participants hung out, read, danced, played Ultimate Frisbee against Habitat for Humanity volunteers, and performed in the weekly “No-Talent Talent Show.” One night the Spring Breakers heard a special presentation about the ongoing political, economic, and social challenges involved in the post-Katrina recovery efforts in Mississippi.

Eckerd students were inspired by the dedication of the Hands On and AmeriCorps staff members who were, for the most part, around the same ages as the Spring Breakers. Also, they were able to observe first hand the resilience of the Mississippi coastal residents and better understand the ongoing challenges they face in the aftermath of the hurricane that landed on the Gulf Coast 17 months before.

View photos from Mississippi

Reflective Service-Learning Portfolio

Triton Track

Current Calls to Action

Edible Peace Patch Project
Looking for something fun to do this summer? The Muscular Dystrophy Association is looking for volunteers for their summer camps! The camps will take place in Brandon, FL, June 21-27, and in Apopka, FL, July 12-18.
Interested? Contact Paula Orandash for more info at (727) 577-1700.
AIDS Walk Tampa Bay 2014
What are you and your friends doing to change the course of HIV in the Tampa Bay Region? By walking, donating or volunteering this year, you will help to provide much needed resouces to the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP).
The 12th annual AIDS Walk Tampa Bay will be held at Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday, September 6th. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 a.m.

Notes from the Field

Servant Leaders blog
Service-Learning Interns blog
The service-learning student interns are increasing service involvement at Eckerd, becoming successful service leaders and helping students create a community around the values and challenges of servant-leadership.

Service Learning Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Read individual profiles of how involvement with Eckerd Service-Learning changed the lives of current students and alumni.  Learn more.