Alternative Break Service Experiences

Alternative Spring Break
Alternative Spring Break in Laredo, TX, March 2020
If you’re looking to make a difference in the lives of others, The Mercy Center hosts Alternative Break missions that bring GMercyU students, faculty, and staff together for service projects around the country and the world.

You’ll perform worthwhile community service while learning about cultural and social issues facing your host community. It's an experience you'll never forget, and one that you'll want to repeat again and again throughout your time here.


Alternative Break Service Experiences, GMercyU-Style

Students, faculty, and staff who've participated in these experiences, which take place during school breaks, have nothing but positive feedback to share. Interested in participating? ASB participants have a desire to:

  • Be of service to others
  • Learn more about economic poverty, diversity, social justice, and the environment
  • Live simply
  • Grow in your spirituality
  • Reflect on your experiences, individually and as a community
  • Strengthen your leadership qualities and commitment to the future

Apply to an Alternative Break here

Alternative Spring Break 2024 Trip

March 10-16, 2024 in McAllen, TX (on the US/Mexico border)
Immigration, Global Poverty, Advocacy

This team will learn more about the immigration crisis at the US southern border. Service will take place in a respite center, working with persons and families immediately after their arrival in the US. Students will also go to ARISE, a Mercy-sponsored organization that supports and empowers the local immigrant community to build better lives for themselves. Team members will tour a section of the border wall, and learn about more about the experience of immigration and life at the border.

Alternative Summer Break 2024 Trips

May 13-17, 2024 in Benson, VT
Care of the Earth, Spirituality, Advocacy

This team will be living, learning and serving Mercy Eco-Spirituality Center. This is a working farm and retreat center whose mission is to inspire reverence for Earth and to work towards sustainability of life by acting in harmony with all creation. Mercy Farm focuses on connecting people with nature and healing the Earth through community outreach, farming, gardening and more. While on the Farm, team members will observe the natural world surrounding them, ponder their own spirituality, learn about human’s connection to and impact on the earth, and consider how they may be better advocates for the world. Service to Mercy Farm will include cleaning, planting, tending the animals, and assisting with seasonal projects. Students might also serve a local partner organization, according to the need. As the week concludes, the site team will consider how they can continue to advocate for the Earth at GMercyU and/or their home communities.

May 19-24 in New York City
Urban Poverty, Advocacy (International)

Students and leaders will be hosted by the NYC Mercy Volunteer community in Queens, NY. The team will primarily focus on issues of urban poverty. Tentative sites include the Mercy First (social service organization for children and youth), St. John’s Bread and Life (social service organization), and Covenant House (emergency shelter for youth and young adults). The group may tour the UN where they will learn about international advocacy efforts of the Sisters of Mercy. NYC Mercy Volunteers will lead the team in at least one night of post-service reflection. Public transportation will be utilized throughout the week.

For more information or to apply, contact Betsy Stone Plummer at or 215-641-5592. 


Did you know? Our students raise all the money for their Alternative Breaks. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation at Thanks for your support!