Appa Volunteers — 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 37 different cities and towns during spring break, living in solidarity alongside the families that we commit to serve.

What We Do

Learn, through discussion and reflection, about the societal realities in the United States that leave some marginalized.

Consider how our faith asks us to respond to the social injustices that create entrenched poverty.

Foster a commitment to service throughout the year.

Embrace the Gospel’s call to “love one another.”

Appa Volunteers is an alternative spring break service-immersion program committed to working alongside underserved populations in the United States. 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 biweekly throughout 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 commit to the following requirements:

Registering for Appa

Terms & Conditions: All students participating in Appa must submit basic registration information and the program’s terms and conditions form online. Students will be directed to a secure site to submit their $75 program fee (“dues”) after completing the above link.

Participation and Attendance

Biweekly Meetings: We meet every other Sunday from 4:30-6 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 appalachia@bc.edu 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.

Calendar: Add the Appa Volunteers calendar to your Google Calendar.

Finances and Fundraising

Program Fee: $75, which includes an Appa T-shirt, is due with your signed terms and conditions. This fee can be paid online, via credit card. Participants can also pay in cash or check.

Letter Campaign: Appa Volunteers is entirely donor-supported, which means we rely on the generosity of donors to support our work on-campus and across the country. Using a downloadable template, volunteers are expected to print, personally address, and sign at least 10 letters seeking financial support from family, friends, past employers, teachers, a local parish, etc. Bring the letters, along with the names and addresses of 10 individuals, to our Nov. 6 meeting. We will provide you with stamped envelopes, which you will address and submit at the meeting.

Raffle: Students are responsible for selling $200 worth of raffle tickets. You can download and print the tickets from this document. Please make sure all writing is clear and legible. You can submit raffle payment via cash, check (payable to Boston College), or credit card. To pay via credit card:

  1. Visit bc.edu/ummstpm
  2. Log in with BC username and password via Sign in to My Account button in the upper right hand corner
  3. Under the list of UMM Programs You Have Been Accepted Into, click the red Make Payment button on the Appa Volunteers line
  4. On this page you can submit your $75 program fee and/or your raffle contribution. Enter the amount you would like to pay in the respective Payment Amount field and click Make Payment
  5. You will be redirected to the secure CashNet page where you can submit your payment information. You will receive an email confirming your successful payment.

Appa Volunteers relies on dozens of past participants to hold key leadership roles in the program. Roles within our Trip Leader community, as well as on our student Council, are available in March of each year.

Appa Trip Leaders (TLs) help animate our work. It is an important leadership opportunity within Campus Ministry and in our larger campus community. We're looking for students passionate about Appa—in particular, our works of faith, service, justice, and community.

There are several commitments for Trip Leaders, and we ask that you please be sure you can honor ALL commitments before applying:

  • Must be free on Sundays from 4-7:30 p.m. for Trip Leader formation and weekly General Meeting
  • Must be available for the following retreat/formation activities:
    • Opening meeting on Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. (for those not abroad)
    • Monday, Aug. 22 - Tuesday, Aug. 23 for the TL Retreat (early move-in available for those living on-campus)
    • Monday, Jan. 16 from approximately 12-5 p.m. (MLK, Jr. Day)
    • Sunday, Feb. 19 from approximately 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Available for spring break
  • Participate in all necessary requirements of the program
  • Dedication to creating a post-trip experience rooted in faith, service, justice, and community for our participants

*Candidates who are currently abroad are encouraged to apply. While we ask that you make every attempt to be available to Skype into meetings held while abroad, absences in these instances will not prevent you from being selected.

Applications for TL are accepted in March of each year, with new and returning leaders selected in April.

Email
appalachia@bc.edu

Appa Hours
Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Carney 371

Mailing Address
Boston College
Campus Ministry: Appa Volunteers / McElroy 233
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA  02467

Program Director
Kelly Hughes
McElroy 119
kelly.hughes@bc.edu
617-552-8307