SUN Center provided service during spring break

Volunteering in the Navajo Reservation
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Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 1:55pm

Students at the College of Eastern Utah spent their spring break serving others in an activity called Spring Breakaway.

Breakaway began March 15 and continued through the 20. Breakaway is an alternative for CEU students to the normal spring break activities. This year Cole Unsworth, president of the Serving Utah Network Involvement Center, was in charge of the Breakaway experience.

"The 2010 Breakaway experience to the Navajo Nation ... Many great and marvelous things were accomplished by amazing young people who gave up a week of their lives and their Spring Break to assist elderly and disabled Navajos," said Kathy Murray, advisor to the SUN Center.

Services provided included, replacement of a roof, installation of new ramps, creating a walking path, building of a shade house and a bathroom remodel, according to Murray.

A few hurdles came to the group of students this year. The first major hurdle was when they ran out of mining belt to finish a pathway between two blind women's houses. The two women, who are sisters, wanted the pathway to make the trip between their houses easier. "We had to come up with a way for the sisters to reach the belting ... [the problem was solved] with the discovery of old metal pipes," said Murray.

Another hurdle had to be overcome. The mining belt, which Sen. David Hinkins transported, was too thick to cut easily. The inch-thick belting was cut with box cutters, according to Unsworth. Hinkins stayed and spent the day working with the students.

For the bathroom Steve Carlson Diane Carlson also joined the group when they brought a tub enclosure to the group.

CEU welding department students welded two metal ramps for this project.

In addition to providing service, the students received a unique cultural experience that few receive. They experienced an authentic Pow-Wow, Navajo music and visited the Mesa Verde National Park.

The students who attended this event were, "Cole Unsworth, Tori Frame, David Potter, Ben Bjarnson, Shaully Morris, Bekah Robinson, Croby Hatt, Courtney Reynolds, Holli Unsworth, Chantelle Yates, Julia Potts, Matt Guyman, J.J. Glasson, Todd LeMuon, Adriane Weihing, Jason Clyde, Sara Bailey and Allyson Perkins," according to Murray. Dean of students Alex Herzog and Officer James Prettyman helped the students that week.

Kate Alleman, executive director of the Southeastern Utah United Way, helped the volunteers greatly. She provided dinner and expertise in helping the volunteers complete their projects. United Way provided funding for some of the materials the students used. Murray expressed thanks for everyone involved.

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