ServeUp Application 2015 - Brown/RISD

Many spring break trips involve fun in the sun. A few involve community service. But only ServeUp, an alternative spring break service trip to New Orleans, gathers students of diverse religious backgrounds and faith perspectives to explore the intersections of social justice, service, and Christian spirituality while partnering with existing organizations to serve Gulf Coast communities.

W H A T I S S E R V E U P ?

ServeUP began in 2005 as the Katrina Relief Urban Project, a community service/relief program organized by college students and staff involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national faith-based student movement. The goal was to provide immediate relief to Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Ten years later, New Orleans is still recovering. Today, ServeUp's vision is much bigger than to simply spend a week building and painting homes with our on-the-ground service partners (Habitat for Humanity, St. Bernard's Project, and others). Students will learn about systemic justice issues like poverty, housing equality, and the ethics of short-term service and volunteerism, in hopes that they will carry that learning back to transform their home communities. Lastly, our spiritually diverse team will explore the intersections of the Christian faith and social justice work through our evening discussion program.

W H O C A N C O M E ? W H A T I S T H E D A Y - T O - D A Y P R OG R A M ?

Our ServeUp team will consist of 10 Brown and RISD students, led by Berit Goetz (Brown '13), the Brown Christian Fellowship staff advisor. We will spend the week with similar teams from Middlebury, Williams, Wellesley, and MIT. As part of our commitment to enrich and bless the whole university community, beyond the bounds of the Christian tradition, we are gathering a spiritually diverse team. Ideally, half our team will identify with the Christian faith, and half will identify with a different faith or no faith. This trip is about exploration for everyone, and we believe that the program works best when we have a diverse team!

Below are the three components of the daily program:

Service: During the day Monday through Friday we will be serving with various service organizations in New Orleans. You could be doing anything from painting, framing, demolition, molding, spackling, or even moving residents in! Don’t be afraid if you’ve never done work like this; the site manager will teach you.

Social Justice and Culture: On Sunday we will go on an interactive tour of New Orleans which will help you to learn more about the culture, and also the justice issues at play in New Orleans. On Wednesday night, we go out into the French Quarter where you can get beignets at Cafe DuMonde (a New Orleans classic), go shopping, walk around and explore! It’s a lot of fun to explore the rich culture and traditions in NOLA.

Spirituality: ServeUp is sponsored by Brown Christian Fellowship and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national Christian ministry organization working on college campuses across the United States. In the evenings, we will debrief our work day and engage with a Bible passage through group discussion. This week will challenge your idea of spirituality and why/how we serve, whether you identify as Christian or not!

D A T E S, T R A N S P O R T A T I O N, A N D H O U S I N G

Dates: Brown/RISD spring break! Depart Friday, March 20th (we leave in the afternoon after classes). Return Sunday March 29th.
Transportation: We take a nice 50 passenger coach to NOLA with other New England students. We drive through the night (about 30 hours total) and have a lot of fun!
Housing: We will stay at Gentilly Baptist Church. Amenities include an indoor basketball court, a small grocery nearby, and lots of delicious New Orleans-style meals!

C O S T + D E A D L I N E S

Early application deadline: Monday, Dec. 22
Cost for early-round applicants who are accepted: $495 ($100 non-refundable deposit upon registration, $395 balance)

Second-round application deadline: Monday, Jan. 12
Cost for second-round applicants who are accepted: $595 ($100 non-refundable deposit upon registration, plus $495 balance)

Cost covers all housing and food except for fast food and snacks for the bus ride down/back, and one dinner out in the French Quarter.

If you sign up with a friend of a different spiritual background than you, both of you will receive a $25 discount.

We are committed to making participation possible for everyone who wants to come. Team members may meet with Berit (the Brown Christian Fellowship staff) to create a fundraising plan to raise the balance of the cost.


Upon acceptance and registration: $100 deposit (non-refundable)
Friday, February 13th: $200 covers bus ticket (non-refundable after this date)
Friday, March 13th: Remaining $295 (non-refundable after this date unless you can find someone to fill your spot)

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