CNN Features Homeless Students
Five students from St. Edward's swapped their spring break vacation for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity right here in Austin. On Sunday, March 21, participants Paul Hagey, '02, MLA '04, and Kacey McCoig, '06, shared their homeless experience during an interview aired live on CNN.
One of several service-based Alternative Spring Break programs sponsored by Campus Ministry, Urban Plunge immersed students into homelessness. For five days and four nights, the students spent time on the streets, eating meals in shelters and sleeping in a downtown church. Each participant was allowed only $5 per day and could bring only what would fit in a backpack.
"The purpose of Alternative Spring Break is to allow students to put a personal face on people who are poor, struggling and possibly homeless," said Anna Aldave, associate director of Campus Ministry. "We wanted students to get to know the poor as people and friends, not as social problems to be solved."
The Urban Plunge caught the attention of almost every media outlet in Austin, with stories appearing in the Austin American-Statesman, News 8 Austin, KVUE-ABC, KXAN-NBC, KEYE-CBS, FOX-7, KLBJ-AM and KGSR-FM.
In addition to the Urban Plunge, other groups of students were dispatched to New York City, Perryville, Ark., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Monterrey, Mexico, where they volunteered at various facilities operated by the Congregation of Holy Cross.