Who are the faces in CO of the Casey Feldman Memorial Fund?
This March, several students from the University of Colorado at Boulder will be spending their spring breaks doing service with a program called Alternative Spring Break. Just as Casey dedicated her time to volunteering and reaching out to others, these students are using their time off to travel to different areas of the country and volunteer their time. With the help of the Casey Feldman Memorial Endowment Fund, these seven students have now been given this opportunity. Who are the faces of the Casey Feldman Alternative Breaks Endowment Fund?
Gintare Ambotaite, Nashville Area, TN
Growing up in Lithuania, Gintare was able to experience nature and farm life before moving to New York City. Though she has volunteered with various organizations including God’s Love We Deliver, the environment has always been a priority for Gintare. Her group will be traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and will work on trail building as well as learn about the logistics of organic farming on Sulfur Creek Farm.
Danielle Sandoval, Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless
Danielle’s trip to Cincinnati will allow her to work with various organizations committed to working on hunger, homelessness, urban poverty and racism in the Cincinnati area. She feels that alternative breaks will be an opportunity to spread the word about the impact that each life can have on another. Danielle has volunteered with Invisible Children, which works to fight against child enslavement in Northern Uganda and To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit that works to battle addiction, suicide, self-injury, and depression.
Amy Aberra, New Orleans Disaster Relief
Amy will be volunteering in New Orleans during her spring break. Originally from Ethiopia, Amy says that she shares Casey’s passion for helping others, right down to donating her prom dress and volunteering in a soup kitchen. With goals such as improving environmental awareness, and eventually running her own clinics, schools, and orphanages, her work in New Orleans is very fitting. Amy’s volunteer work will include rebuilding homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, helping out at local shelters, working with youth, and assisting community members to access social service.
Tsion Zergaw, New York, NY
Tsion will be heading to New York during her spring break, where Casey spent her college years at Fordham University. Tsion says she was attracted to Alternative Breaks because of the exposure to real life struggles. Along with eleven other volunteers, she will be working with a non-religious group called God’s Love We Deliver, to prepare and deliver meals to those living with HIV/AIDs in New York, a cause that was also close to Casey’s heart.
Ricky Bell, Catalina Island, CA
Inspired by Casey’s story, as well as the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, Ricky Bell says that he is motivated to do service and make a difference. In high school, as part of “Rachael’s Challenge,” a club that he helped to create, students got together with the purpose of promoting positivity, standing up for others, and standing up for what is right, inspired by the club’s namesake, who had dedicated her own life to service, similar to Casey. Ricky will be traveling to Catalina Island in California to participate in various environmental projects.
Lauren Carter, Catalina Island,CA
Lauren’s compassion for both humans and animals is a quality that she shares with Casey. She has volunteered at the Boulder Humane Society, taking care of cats and dogs, just as Casey had done at Animal Haven in New York. Lauren will be embarking on a trip to Catalina Island, CA, working with the Catalina Island Conservancy, an organization that is dedicated to restoration and preservation of the land and waters of the island. In addition to being passionate about animals, Lauren says that helping the environment has always been close to her heart.
Veronica Lamas, Urban Poverty, Atlanta, GA
Just as Casey volunteered at soup kitchens, Veronica volunteers on Thanksgiving at a soup kitchen so that families may have a decent meal. Growing up as a daughter of immigrant parents has made her want to help out low-income children by being a mentor, she says. Working with impoverished youth in Atlanta will allow Veronica to directly serve in the community. Her main goal is to “touch people’s hearts by helping them with their problems,” she says, “because everyone deserves to be happy regardless of their financial situation.”