Spring Breakers come to help in Phila.

March 11, 2008 5:32:41 AM PDT
It's more than just southern hospitality. Students from the University of Georgia are spending their spring break working to change lives here in Philadelphia. These students could have been tossing a beach ball in Fort Lauderdale, or splashing in the ocean waters of Daytona. Instead, they decided to spend their spring break in Philadelphia, helping the disabled.

Lauren Kelly explains, "I feel like an experience like this is much more rewarding, and you kind of come back charged, but in a different way. Maybe not well rested, but with a new perspective."

It is called an Alternative Spring Break. The 21 college students became acquainted with the residents at the Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation. They had breakfast and orientation, complete with Philly-style snacks, and then it was off to work.

Together, they gave a conference room a fresh coat of paint.

"You learn so much about yourself. It's definitely a challenge. You're tired and maybe even a little home sick. And you've been working in an unfamiliar place. But it's amazing, we all encourage each other," says Tracy Bialis.

Bruce Hulick of the Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation says, "This is a very noble thing they're doing. A great sign of maturity. And they will learn so much. They won't realize how much they'll learn about what's most important in life - human nature."

The students won't be working the entire week. They'll be catching a Flyers game on Wednesday, and they'll visit the Adventure Aquarium. But in the end they'll be able to say Spring Break '08 was meaningful, and productive for them.