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Spring Break for Some UA Students an Opportunity to Give Back

This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 aerial photo shows a neighborhood damaged by a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 aerial photo shows a neighborhood damaged by a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

University of Alabama students are on spring break this week.  But they’re not all partying at the beach.  Some of them are using the break as an opportunity to do some good.  About 16 students are in Moore, Oklahoma to lend a hand to the community as it struggles to rebuild from a massive tornado that struck in May, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more.  UA Community Service Program Director Courtney Thomas says what happened in Oklahoma hit home for a lot of people here.

Courtney Thomas: “We felt a very big connection with their community after they were devastated by a tornado earlier this summer.  So we felt it was very much our obligation to go and give back as so many universities and college students and people all over the nation came to Tuscaloosa to give back to us when we were experiencing the same type of devastation.”

The students in the group range from freshmen to graduate students.  Thomas says that type of service in the past has not only made a difference in the lives of victims, but also on the students themselves.

Thomas: “They saw that what they did made a difference to someone.  And I think that’s the most profound impact that we can give them as students who will become engaged citizens when they leave the university, that they’ll be involved in their communities because they know that it actually makes a difference and it impacts people’s lives.”

The students will partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for survivors.  They come home on Friday.

Jeremy Loeb is a reporter and former APR host of Morning Edition. He joined the station in December of 2013 and stayed with us until November 2014.
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