Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
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

Louisiana: Spring Break 09


View photos from Louisiana

For our service learning trip, ten Eckerd students embarked on a journey up to the Louisiana bayou to a town called Houma. With the Presbyterian Disaster Relief volunteer camp as our base, we worked daily in hurricane relief for the Houma Nation, an as yet federally unrecognized Native American tribe in the bayou area. Because of the government not granting this group official reservation status, they have had a lot of trouble getting aid from FEMA. For this, they still suffer devastation from Katrina-Rita hurricanes in 2005, which was further exacerbated by hurricanes Gustav and Ike just this past September. We stepped in where FEMA was lacking.

Each day over the week-long trip we visited the home of a different Houma family, assisting where they needed help. At one home, we extricated black mold from a house which was causing respiratory problems in the ailing mother. Another visit was made to the home of man named Perry who showed us his shrimping boat and whose lumber we helped move. We also painted a woman's porch, cleaned out a hundred-year old tribal school that was in session when Indians were segregated from public schools, and organized food and clothing donations at a relief center for Houma Indians.

Friday we were presented with a hospitable cultural night put on by some United Houma members, including a traditional shrimp, rice and sausage dinner with the best bread pudding for dessert as well as a Zydeco music performance and storytelling. We headed to New Orleans the following morning, seeing the devastation of the Ninth Ward and experiencing the culture of the Big Easy.

View photos from Louisiana

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Community Action Stops Abuse

Community Action Stops Abuse

It takes a whole community to stop domestic violence. CASA's vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place.

Edible Peach Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty as a factor in educational success and diet-related health issues.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.