VANDERBILT ALTERNATIVE THANKSGIVING & WINTER BREAK
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Facebook Icon

©2019 by Vanderbilt ATWB

Our sites 

Our sites

Participation Cost: $325

In order to avoid internal selection bias based on socioeconomic background, we standardize the cost for all trips to the same flat fee. We want to give everyone the same opportunity to participate in the site of their choosing. $325 covers all food, housing, and transportation fees during the trip. Financial aid is also available and the application is live on AnchorLink.

alternative thanksgiving break

During the era of earth-shaking social movements such as the Civil Rights, Gay Liberation, and Women’s Rights Movement, the LGBTQ community in Memphis and much of the South was still largely closeted and outside the mainstream of gay activism. In the 1980s, the AIDS crisis and awareness movement began, producing new prejudices and challenges for the LGBTQ community. Even today, Memphis continues to fight these issues. We are partnering with the OUTMemphis, Friends for Life, and the CHOICES, where we can help empower and advocate for the LGBTQ and HIV community of the mid-south. Participants can expect to prepare food for Thanksgiving dinner, package kits for the food bank to distribute, and decorate for Thanksgiving celebrations. 

Location: Memphis, TN
Issue: HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ 

precious

Tent city, USA

Location: Nashville, TN
Issue: Homelessness

In 2018, Nashville was named as the country's hottest housing market. Living in Nashville, we are often surrounded by continuous construction that has come alongside gentrification. Tent City, USA will take Vanderbilt students outside of the Vanderbubble to explore a few of the greatest issues plaguing our city: homelessness, gentrification, and a lack of affordable housing. Participants will volunteer with a number of service organizations in the city, including the Nashville Rescue Mission, Open Table Nasvhille, Oasis Center, and Room in the Inn to make a contribution to those suffering from inadequate housing in the city. 

alternative

winter break

Many may know Huntsville as being home to NASA, but it is also home to Lincoln Village, an overlooked and struggling community. Lincoln Village Ministry and the Manna House, our two partner organizations for this year, both seek to impact this community by providing services such as youth education programs, physical and emotional support to struggling families, and food distribution to people in need. During the week, students will work to help break the cycle of poverty in the area by helping with home renovations, tutoring children, weeding gardens, and working at food banks. As an all-encompassing site of service, Huntsville will serve as an eye-opening experience for all of those who are willing to learn from their surroundings.

Location: Huntsville, AL
Issue: Community Development, Poverty ​

stand and deliver

Patch adams

Location: Kissimmee, FL
Issue: Medicine, Youth  

Since 1989, Give Kids the World Village has been providing children with life threatening illnesses and their families a cost-free, weeklong trip to all of the theme parks in central Florida. This whimsical village is fully handicap accessible and allows children a chance to forget about their troubles and enjoy being a kid. A child is never turned away, and the village has provided a week of fun to over 115,000 children. To make this dream-come-true possible, 1,200 shifts are covered every week by volunteer “angels.” ATWB participants will work in a variety of settings, both behind the scenes and directly with families.

The pursuit of happyness

Location: San Francisco, CA 
Issue: Urban Poverty, LGBTQ

This year, we are partnering with GLBT Historical Society in addition to GLIDE and St. Anthony's. The latter two create an inclusive community for those living in poverty in the high-cost-of-living city of San Fransisco. Together, they provide over 4,000 meals per day to the city’s poor, homeless, and hungry. Participants will take on a role in the assembly line to serve meals and will even get a chance to sit down with the Tenderloin residents for a meal and fellowship. GLBT Historical Society, between its Historical Society Museum and Research Center, helps promote a better understanding of LGBTQ culture to the public. As an additional component to serving meals, ATWB participants will get to work at the museum in roles that span greeting visitors to setting up for musuem exhibitions. 

Black swan

Location: Nashville, TN
Issue: Mental Health, Women's Issues 

Nashville: filled with lively music and home to the happiest college students. But if we truly want to love on and take care of our second-home, we must recognize and empower our Nashville friends who are suffering: those who face mental illness and substance abuse. This year we’re happy to be working with Park Center and Mending Hearts, where participants will have the opportunity to serve meals to the members, participate in indoor projects, and most importantly find ways to serve our home away from home. We'll also be volunteering at Hope Clinic for Women and  Nashville Rescue Mission Women's Clinic, two prominent organizations in Nashville that provide crucial resources for women.

Lorenzo's oil

Location: Austin, TX
Issue: Medicine, Children 

ATWB has revived Lorenzo's Oil this year in a new and exciting location: Austin, one of the country's fastest growing cities. Dell's Children's Hospital is a Level 1 pediatric trauma center that serves the central Texas region and the state capital, Austin. Participants will be working with the Child Life department to plan special event holiday celebrations for the young patients and their families. Participants will help plan a Santa's Workshop where parents of patients can go "shopping"  to select Christmas gifts for their child who is in the hospital as well as some items for the whole family. You'll get to provide wonderful holiday experience for patients and their families who otherwise might not have an opportunity to celebrate the holiday due to their hospitalization.

The Princess and The Frog

Location: New Orleans, LA 
Issue: Housing Inequality

We all know New Orleans as one of the country’s most vibrant and unique cities. However, Katrina in 2005 displaced nearly 90% of citizens from their homes. Although the city was been rebuilt, many of the poorest citizens were left to fend for themselves. In order to help restore the homes and lives of those who are financially struggling and/or physically disabled, we are working with Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO), a non-profit organization that seeks to return people to safe living conditions without making them move from the home they are already in. Participants will work under the supervision of skilled construction staff to rebuild homes of low-income veterans, elderly, or disabled citizens. You will perform tasks such as painting and landscaping in order to refurbish old, deteriorating homes in the New Orleans Parish. 

ATWB Logo no white.png