'Soup for Service' USD AWOL student fundraiser is Feb. 25

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota travelling during spring break to participate in service-learning projects will host a “Soup for Service” soup supper and silent auction at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Vermillion Armory.

USD students will travel to four different locations this March, including Portland, Ore., Detroit, Mich., New Orleans, La., and Pine Ridge, S.D., with the Center for Academic Engagement’s Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) program. AWOL offers students the opportunity to combine community service with education during academic breaks. This year, students will work in neighborhoods coping with urban poverty and housing, health care, hurricane relief and poor standards of living.

The all-you-can-eat soup supper is 5-7:30 p.m. On the menu are chicken noodle, chili, creamy potato and jambalaya soups. Beverages and dessert will also be served. Soup supper tickets are available by e-mailing awol@usd.edu or by contacting any AWOL spring break participant. All proceeds from the event will be used to defray out-of-pocket expenses for students travelling for AWOL.

“It's not only a great fundraiser but also a great way for the rest of the University and the Vermillion community to take part in the AWOL program,” said Abby Jones, AWOL board member and Pine Ridge trip participant. “By attending the soup feed, community members are helping us create lifelong agents of social change.  And it's a lot of fun too.”

This is AWOL's seventh year on campus and the program has continued to grow. During winter break, students traveled to Belize for AWOL’s second international trip where they worked to improve the economic challenges in a developing nation. Students also went to Chicago, Ill., in January to work with inner-city poverty and gang prevention. Prior to departure, students participate in six weeks of educational training. The goal of the program is to engage students in a lifetime of service-learning. More information about AWOL is available at http://orgs.usd.edu/awol.