To some, spring break may call to mind days lazing on the beach and nights partying, but not for 65 Suffolk University student volunteers helping to build homes, clean parks, and raise awareness in cities across America.

Since 1998, Suffolk’s Organization for Uplifting Lives through Service (S.O.U.L.S.) has offered Alternative Break programs, with students engaging in meaningful service during winter and spring breaks.

This year's Alternative Spring Break student volunteers will serve five communities:

  • Salem, Mass.: Students will spend a weekend working with children and staff of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem.
  • Detroit: Working through the Triangle Foundation, students will discuss LGBT issues with businesses and ask them to push for LGBT rights legislation.
  • Meridian, Miss.: Students will build housing through Habitat for Humanity.
  • Denver: Students will build housing through Habitat for Humanity.
  • San Francisco: Students will engage in trail clearing and cleanup of Golden Gate Park.

"It's wonderful to see students willing to put away their iPods and the other luxuries of everyday life to spend their vacations with people who need a helping hand," said Carolina Garcia, director of Service Learning, who will accompany the student group heading to Mississippi. "We had to turn people away because so many wanted to volunteer."