Dominican children in a classroom

Service trip leads to helping the underserved


Alvernia students who participate in the university’s Alternative Break program have organized a fundraising effort to purchase new uniforms for nearly 200 children at the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters' school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. During a service trip to the school, students noticed that the children’s uniforms did not fit properly, had holes or were missing buttons and quickly moved into action to improve the circumstances.


After returning to campus, Alvernia students coordinated a sponsorship program that raised more than $4,000 for new uniforms. Each of the Dominican children received one new set that includes a uniform for the school as well as one for gym class.


"Working with the students in the Dominican Republic was an eye-opening and humbling experience. These kids have made such a great impact on me, and I’m so thankful to have the chance to give back to them,” said Hayley Haggerty, a senior majoring in occupational therapy.


Jenniffer Acosta, principal of the Dominican school was overjoyed when learning the news that all children would receive new uniforms. “Thank you very much for your initiative and effort and many thanks to all for your generous hearts,” she shared in an email to staff.


Alvernia’s Alternative Break program, coordinated by Campus Ministry, organizes weekend and week-long service and immersion trips for students to inspire and empower them to lead lives dedicated to serving the underserved, promoting peace and justice and working toward the common good.