The Appalachia Volunteers Program – more commonly called “Appa” – is a service-immersion program committed to working with the poor and marginalized in the United States. The heart of our work is spent in community, when we travel to 40 different cities and towns during spring break, living in solidarity alongside the families that we commit to serve. What started with one van to Kentucky is now the University’s largest service-immersion program. More than 500 students travel coast-to-coast with us each year, encountering community and service in both urban areas (New Orleans, Detroit, etc.) and rural areas (throughout the South and the Appalachian regions).
We meet one-hour-a-week during the school year to learn about the structural and social realities that leave some people marginalized, and we draw on Boston College’s Jesuit tradition in considering how faith might ask us to respond to social injustices.
Joining Appa is as easy as showing up. We have no application process; any student who wants to participate can. We simply ask that you complete our registration form and can commit to the following requirements:
Registering for Appalachia
Terms & Conditions: All students participating in Appa must submit basic registration information and the program’s terms and conditions form online. The terms and conditions form is accessible here. Students will be directed to secure site to submit their $75 program fee (“dues”) after completing the above link.
Participation and Attendance
Weekly Meetings: We typically meet every Sunday from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Eagles Nest. Our hope is that each meeting provides an opportunity for members to experience our “love, learn, serve” mission in new ways. For that reason, attendance at meetings is mandatory. Members who cannot make a meeting should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time to alert us to their absence. Three unexcused absences will result in a student’s dismissal from the program and a forfeiture of paid dues.
Days of Service: We regularly sponsor Days of Service to connect our national program to the needs of our local community. Each member will participate in a Day of Service in/around Boston and participate in a post-service reflection to discuss and process the service experience. Failure to participate will result in a student’s dismissal from the program and a forfeiture of paid dues. NOTE: Students who participate in a weekly service program through Boston College (i.e. 4Boston, Pulse, etc.) can waive the Day of Service requirement; a separate reflection will be hosted for these students later in the school year. Participants can register for a Day of Service by clicking this link. Learn about each of the opportunities here.
Finances and Fundraising
Program Fee: $75, which includes an Appalachia T-shirt, is due with your signed terms and conditions. This fee can be paid online, via credit card, at www.bc.edu/appafund. Participants can also pay in cash or check.
Letter Campaign: The Appalachia Volunteers program is entirely donor-supported. We rely on the generosity of donors to support our work on-campus and across the country. Volunteers are expected to send 10 letters seeking financial support from family, friends, past employers, teachers, a local parish, etc. A template for these letters, and more specific instructions, can be found online at www.bc.edu/appafund. NOTE: Your program fee includes 10 stamped envelopes to use for your letters.
Raffle: Volunteers are expected to sell at least $200 in raffle tickets, which can be downloaded via our Volunteer Resources website at www.bc.edu/appafund. A full list of raffle prizes will also be viewable on this web page. Volunteers can opt to collect cash or a check for raffle purchases. For your convenience, you may also submit raffle donations in a single, online payment of $200 via: www.bc.edu/appafund. Raffle winners will be selected live during the spring semester.
Please contact our Program Director if you have any concerns about the cost of participating in Appa. No one will be turned away from participation in our program solely because the overall cost seems prohibitive.
Thank you for considering a donation to the Appalachia Volunteers Program. Your tax-deductible donation is a valuable investment in a learning experience that many Boston College students will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Appa is entirely donor funded and we rely on your support to help us meet our budget, which can exceed $300,000.
Where are the costs coming from?
A large percentage of our budget goes towards transportation expenses. We charter buses to centralized car rental locations, then rent minivans and drive to our destination. We also work hand-in-hand with communities, funding worksite projects during our trip to meet the needs of the families we serve.
How do we cover the costs?
We sponsor several fundraising events throughout the year, giving participants the chance to raise money for our program. We also coordinate a successful raffle and an annual letter campaign seeking support from friends and family.
How can you help?
- Click on the "FOR BC" image below.
- Enter your information; for the field "I wish to make my gift to:” select Appalachia Volunteers. If you are sponsoring a certain student, please select "In honor of a BC student," and include their name and year.
- Click "Submit Gift."
- Thank you for your support!
MAIL A CHECK
Appalachia Volunteers Program
Boston College, Office of Campus Ministry
McElroy Commons 233
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
If your corporation matches donations, please enclose the appropriate forms.
The Appalachia Volunteers Program, under the umbrella of the Trustees of Boston College, is a non-profit 501(c)3 with a federal tax exemption number of 04-2103545.
Interested in supporting the students and service of Appalachia Volunteers?
Learn more about donating to Appa.