Students spend spring break volunteering

      Some northern Michigan students are opting to stay home and volunteer instead of heading south for spring break.

      The Char-Em United Way has a week of volunteering plans to help teenagers get involved in several community efforts.

      "Your don't have to travel to a foreign country to have an alternative spring break experience," explains Matt Knofsnider, United Way's AmeriCorp VISTA. "This project gives you the opportunity to stay home and help right here in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties."

      This year's Alternative Break schedule will highlight a different project each day from April 1 through April 5.

      Monday: Gold Mine North Resale Shop - volunteers will help with cleaning and organizing

      Tuesday: Little Traverse Conservancy - volunteers will help clearing trails at the Ray Johnston Preserve

      Wednesday: Manna Food Project - volunteers will help organize, clean and go on a food truck run

      Thursday: Little Traverse Conservancy - volunteers will take part in an outdoor project to be determined by the weather

      Friday: The Bergmann Center of Charlevoix - volunteers will help organize and clean resale store

      If you would like to volunteer call the Char-Em United way at 231-487-1006 or email