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Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service Learning

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Service Learning

Service Learning

Georgia: Spring Break 06


What did 14 Eckerd students do for a good time during Spring Break? They traveled in cramped vehicles, got cold and dirty, slept on hard church floors, sang loudly, laughed a lot, and provided service to four grateful organizations in rural and urban Georgia.

Our first service stop was at Koinonia Community Partners, an intentional Christian farm community with an inspiring 64-year history of promoting social justice in rural Georgia and beyond. During our two days there we pulled down itchy insulation, built shelves and windows, painted, and cleaned storage space. We also shared a campfire, meals, and stories with Koinonia community members.

From the quiet rural beauty of Koinonia, we headed to the noisy urban bustle of Atlanta. Our first day there we sorted donations at the huge Atlanta Community Food Bank. After our work we talked with Eckerd graduate and food bank Chief Operating Officer Robert Johnson ('71) about his career of service. The next day our work took us to nearby Decatur where some of us prepared a community garden for an apartment complex furnished by the Initiative for Affordable Housing, while others painted and cleaned a transitional house provided by North Decatur Presbyterian Church for a homeless family receiving services with Decatur Cooperative Ministry. The Executive Directors of these organizations spoke with us about the link between homelessness and lack of affordable housing.

On our trip we also saw President Jimmy Carter teach Sunday School, visited the Martin Luther King Center, sampled Southern cooking, shopped at thrift stores, shivered in cold spring air, worked and played hard. As a result of our trip, hopefully each of us received what one participant described as "more of a sense of peace and accomplishment and drive within me."

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