Alternative Spring Break

Changing lives. Changing selves. Building community.

3 college studentsMake a difference over your next spring break in a week of community service, fellowship and fun! Urban Ministry has served Birmingham, Alabama since 1976, and in that time we have hosted thousands of students from hundreds of groups all across the country. Find out for yourself why some students return year after year to Urban Ministry’s Joe Rush Center for their Alternative Break.

While staying at our dorm facility in Midfield, Alabama, your group will offer dignity and compassion to someone by way of a paint brush by painting the exteriors of houses for low-income homeowners, most of whom are elderly or disabled.

Although you may join us to make a difference in someone else’s life and community, you will find that the most important change happens within yourself.

Opportunities, schedules tailor-made to fit your interests

Group sitting on lawn at lunchOn a typical day, your group will arrive at the work site after breakfast (generally before 9 a.m.).  A job may involve some scraping, ladder work, and painting with brushes or rollers.  Paint and supplies will be provided by Urban Ministry. You may pack a lunch and eat picnic-style on site.

In the evening, your group can prepare dinner in our dorm kitchen.  (Purchase your own food, or have the Rush Center supply your meals.) We welcome the opportunity to lead evening reflections and programs about urban poverty and community service.

Groups will stay in our Rush Center dorm, which sleeps up 80 people in 40 bunk beds. The site has convenient access to numerous Birmingham attractions, including Birmingham’s acclaimed Civil Rights Museum, Alabama Adventure water park, or our new downtown baseball stadium.

Total cost depends on your group’s particular schedule and options.  For a typical stay (Sunday evening to Friday morning), $275 per person includes lodging, meals, staffing, paint, brushes, rollers, and other work supplies. For the same stay, the cost is $137.50 per person for groups who provide their own food.

Year-round availability.

Summer vacation, fall break, winter break – let us know if we can accommodate your group at any time.

To schedule your service trip, call us at 205-781-0517 (Danny Jones – extension 101) or email Danny Jones, Director of the Joe Rush Center.

Rush Center Reviews

From homeowners:

“I have been inside crying all day because God made a way [to get my house painted].”

“I love you like the highway, and that don’t ever end.”

“Sometimes when my mother and I go out we come back and just sit in the driveway and look at how good the house looks.”

From students:

“While we were painting this house, I was just thinking that this is the happiest I have ever been in my whole life.”