Yet Another Spring Break Option- SPOTS!
As you’ve probably discovered reading through various Inside ‘Dores posts, Vanderbilt has a ton of Spring Break options. Alternative Spring Break (ASB), is one of the most common, but definitely not the only service trip available for Vanderbilt students. I decided this year to go with Vanderbilt’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry to Tampa, Florida for their Spring SPOTS mission trip.
SPOTS was an amazing experience. Our home base for the trip was the First Baptist Church of Port Tampa, a church that is currently working on reaching out to the fluctuating community it is located in. Throughout the week, a group of 34 Vanderbilt students helped the church in a variety of ways. We organized and cleaned inside the church, sang and ministered at assisted living homes, held cookouts for area apartment complexes, and went door-to-door inviting the community to a block party the church was hosting that Saturday.
Seeing a church so passionate about helping the community surrounding it was awesome. The block party that the week culminated in was a ton of fun—we helped with arts and crafts, face painting, a bounce house, a dunk tank (I can now say I’ve been dunked in a dunk tank and survived the experience!), and passed out groceries to families in need.
Another awesome experience was getting to help out with the after-school program at the Kwane Doster Community Center, named for a Vanderbilt University football player who was tragically killed at the age of 21. The kids there were so sweet, and we were able to help them with their homework and play all sorts of fun games with them and get to know them.
Spring SPOTS was an amazing college experience that I’m so glad I got to have. At first, I was a little bummed about not going home for spring break, but I actually got to see my mom on our off day since we only live a few hours from Tampa. Overall, I was able to tangibly help a community, forge new friendships and strengthen old ones, enjoy some beautiful Florida sunshine, see my family, and have a ton of fun in the process—the perfect spring break combination!