Twenty-five Fresno State students will engage in four days of service for Fresno State’s Sixth Annual Alternative Spring Break Program April 14-17 to benefit the Fresno Rescue Mission-Rescue the Children project.

Students are conducting their Alternative Spring Break Donation Drive until Friday, April 4, seeking community support for items such as full-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash and sunscreen as well as lip balm and hair ties.

“These items will directly benefit the mothers and children of Fresno Rescue Mission-Rescue the Children,” said Marina Aguilera, Alternative Spring Break graduate assistant.

They also seek donations of items for a playground and to renovate rooms as well as funds for meals during the project.

Designed to give Fresno State students the opportunity to serve the local community and see the impact they can make in people’s lives, the program is held during the university’s spring recess April 12-20.

Participants will help serve at Rescue the Children by building two playgrounds from the ground up, painting and decorating three rooms with attached bathrooms for residents with the Adopt-a-Room project and coordinating activities with the children and families on site.

Participants will work side by side with residents and children who will also help in the building of the playground. They will plan and host a playground completion celebration with the children on the final day of the project, April 17.

For construction of the two playgrounds, students are conducting a Playground Project Supply Drive to collect necessary tools, supplies and items such as shovels, asphalt paint and anything necessary for a playground.

They also seek items for the Adopt-a-Room project: paint, bath towels, rugs, shower curtains and other décor items.

The program is also seeking donations for meals to serve the students working each day of the project.

Aguilera said students who participate in the Alternative Spring Break experience will:

  • Develop personal and professional skills associated with participation in service
  • Gain an understanding of how local agencies address needs and issues in the community
  • Understand the value of approaching situations with an open mind
  • Develop and build civic and service ethics
  • Gain an awareness of working with diverse populations in a team setting

“In addition to direct service, each student participant will be led in structured reflection activities and team-building experiences before and after the service dates,” Aguilera said.

Student sign-ups for participation are closed but individuals can still contribute to the program by donating the requested items.

For more information, contact Aguilera at 559.278.6048 or; or Shawna Blair, program and event coordinator, at 559.278.2741 or

(News assistant Jodi Raley contributed to this report.)