A sweet treat for an Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break hosted its second bake sale in the Centennial Student Union last week (the first being during the last semester during finals). The bake sale’s goal was to raise funds for their Alternative Spring Break trip. 

This year’s destination is Kansas City, Missouri. Students will help Powell Botanical Gardens and Nourish KC Community Kitchens, among others, said Crystal Watts, one of the graduate advisors for the trip.

“Bake sales are a great way to engage in conversation with students, staff, and faculty on campus about what is going on in the realm of Student Activities,” said Watts. “Through these bake sales, we have been able to get the word out about our trip. Find additional support for it and finish filling out our travel roster.”

Working alongside Watts to make the spring break trips possible are Atlas James, Spencer Grimes and Addison Reichenberg. These students helped plan and run the bake sale, which was quite successful, according to Karen Anderson, assistant director for community engagement.

“The time spent at the bake sale was very productive. People came by and made donations to support the trip without buying food, too. We made connections with a student who will take the very last place on our ASB 2023 trip, and someone already interested in being part of the 2024 trip. So, we are getting the message out that the Community Engagement Office promotes this service trip,” said Anderson.

While these bake sales do not cover the larger costs of the trip, the petty cash covers some expenses such as unexpected parking fees or entrance fees to local attractions, explains Watts. ASB is committed to being “as low cost to travelers as possible” says Watts, so every donation or sale is helpful.

The point of these trips is to help students explore beyond Minnesota State and support communities. Past ASB destinations include Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Winnipeg. Other trips were initially planned but were canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“Alternative Spring Break is a nationwide initiative to challenge students to take their spring breaks and make the world a better place,” said Watts.

Added Anderson, “I am always encouraged by the impact students make on the communities they visit and serve in and the impact that service and travel have on the students.”

Volunteer work has a way of changing people and the communities they built. Students that go on these alternative trips find themselves learning about people and themselves.

Anderson states, “I’ve known students who change their major due to Alternative Spring Break. I’m especially excited when students can combine their interest in travel and community engagement with their academic interests.”

Header photo: Students raised money through baked goods for the Alternative Spring Break where students will volunteer in Kansas City for a week. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)

Write to Kendall Larson at

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