While recovering from damage caused by earthquakes, hurricanes and general poverty, community members of the world’s devastated areas are scrambling to prepare for the imminent aggravation caused by the goody- two-shoes headed toward the nation’s multitude of alternative spring break programs.
“When the hurricane hit us, we didn’t know what was coming. We were totally unprepared,” said Carole Norton of Biloxi, Mississippi. “But I was equally unprepared to hold a conversation with the type of person who would willingly give up vacation time in order to haul debris around my yard for no pay. And I just know they’re coming back this year too.”
According to Norton, the volunteers who traveled to Biloxi last year “really shook the community.” She explained “They even engaged in countless team-building icebreakers. Right in our backyards.”
Said Neil Bowman of Detroit, “My community is particularly vulnerable to this type of thing. Our schools are falling apart. We don’t have the tax revenue to fix them ourselves. And on top of it all, we have college kids coming here with buckets of paint and goofy smiles. What the hell are they so happy about?”
Bowman went on to explain his fear that “some of them will even wear bandanas on their heads.”
Christy Morgan from the University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center explained the motivation behind many members service.
“It isn’t just about a lot of self-congratulatory back slapping, helping out poor people or even padding one’s resume. It really is about privileged people spending a week of their lives becoming ‘active citizens’ in hopes that years from now they will be able to look back and say, ‘yeah I made a difference that one time 20 years ago, that was enough.’”
For her part, Norton still struggles to overcome the aggravation she and her family experienced last spring. “When I close my eyes at night,” she said, “I can still hear them singing Kumbaya.”