Local student volunteers during CMU Alternative Break

Central Michigan University (CMU) junior Danielle Schmutz of Rockford recently participated in CMU’s Alternative Winter Break volunteer program.

Schmutz, a Rockford High School graduate and daughter of George and Tina Schmutz of Rockford, was among more than 120 CMU students who took part in the week of service travel organized by the university’s Volunteer Center.

During Alternative Winter Break, 11 teams of CMU students volunteered around the world with organizations that address such social issues as at-risk youth, disaster relief, sexual abuse, hunger and homelessness, terminal illness, care for the elderly, and civil rights. Schmutz was a volunteer at Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Mo., working in classrooms and conducting activities for the nearly 700 children served by the center, who are among Kansas City’s poorest-about 25 percent of whom are homeless. She is majoring in child development and sociology and minoring in global justice at CMU.

Created in 1994, Alternative Breaks is a program that provides CMU students with opportunities to travel domestically or abroad to experience meaningful service projects. Teams led by trained CMU student site leaders engage in public service and social issue-based education on the trips, which take place during winter, spring and summer breaks, as well as on weekends during the academic year.

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