Tim's Take: Mizzou Alternative Breaks - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Mizzou Alternative Breaks

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

There is sand. And some sun. But this is not the type of Spring Break we're used to hearing about.

A group of University of Missouri students are spending Spring Break in Savannah, not with beer pong and pub crawls, but an old-fashioned work party, sacrificing their free time for volunteer time at the Hoofs 4 Healing therapeutic riding academy.

"We have cut grass, weed-eated, painted and caulked,” said Hoofs 4 Healing founder Karrie Henry. “Gosh, it just goes on and on and on. Having free service is awesome and having college students that are responsible and willing to work is just amazing.”

The students are participating in the Mizzou Alternative Breaks program and actually spent last semester raising money so they could pay to work while others are playing.

They had to provide their own transportation and spending money for the trip.

"Why would I spend my spring break on a beach,” said Mizzou sophomore Heather Withrow, “when I can spend it doing service with a bunch of people that I just met?”

"You get to meet a lot of new people and do some cool stuff,” added junior Chase Quattrocchi. “And you get a lot more out of your trip than just going to the beach for the week.”

These students have gotten more than satisfaction out of their time with Hoofs 4 Healing.

All 11 are studying healthcare and have been impressed by the impact the program has on differently abled riders.

"It has been great just to see how much they get out of bonding with the horses,” said Quattrocchi. “And how they get so much more confidence.”

"You see the rider get up there, you see them looking and smiling,” added Henry. “And they're happy.”

It can be life-changing for the riders, just as this week has been for these unique Spring Breakers

"I just have a love of service,” said Withrow. “If I could major in volunteering, I definitely would.”

Henry, who remembers spending Spring Break on the beach, is thrilled that the students have chosen to take time to help.

"It's amazing,” she said. “Boy, times have changed.”

And for once, changed for the better.

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