Through the Office of Community Service, 14 Temple students went to Burlington, N.C. to build two houses for Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program over spring break.
From March 4th through the 11th, the 14 students helped in the construction of two houses and raised over $1,500 for the cause.
The Community Service Office usually offers a service program each month-Habitat for Humanity was the March program.
Some of the past outreach events include: canned food drives during Thanksgiving, luncheons at senior homes, assistance with the Special Olympics and a child’s wish list program in December.
Volunteers were asked to apply via a written application and interview for the opportunity to participate in the weeklong labor of love. Searching for considerate and tolerate people with previous community/campus service experience, there was no lack of applicants.
Lisa Pistana, a senior education administration major and the Community Service Coordinator, certainly takes the job seriously as she roughed the trip with all the students. The group shared a house with other college students working on the project as well, sleeping on the floor of the donated home.
In her view, the project had many positive aspects. From revitalizing Temple’s relationship with Habitat for Humanity, offering interested (but lacking) students an outlet and of course building homes for people without the means to do so themselves.
The students worked on two homes over the seven days, one in the early stages of construction and one in the late stages. The first home was in Cary, North Carolina and needed only finishing touches (like paint and trim). For the second leg of their work, the group traveled to Wakeforest, N.C. working on a house seen only through one’s imagination. Gracefully, the students left the tools they brought for future workers.
Kristen Dommel, a freshman biology pre-med. major, didn’t have any plans for spring break and shunned an imminent dormant opportunity to do something new and community oriented. As other students reiterated, “Everyone went together as a team. Most never worked for Habitat for Humanity so it was nice to actually see our work.”
The time commitment, a week so precious to many students, was in her view not a sacrifice but a reason to help others, congregate with fellow students and see North Carolina.
“We were all there for the same reason,” Dommel said, “to help.”
The diverse group was made of students from every class, and some majors who have never heard of one another. Candice Cox, a junior Anthropology major, knew she wanted to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s programs and was finally offered the opportunity through spring break and the convenience of Temples coordination.
For Cox, “It was a rewarding experience,” she said. “Yeah, I would do it again, only if it was warmer though.”
The participants seemed content and fulfilled, and as many alluded, service where one sees the direct effect immediately is nice-the fast food of community service. There was success on both sides after that good old-fashioned barn raising. So much so that Pistana hopes to have a similar program lined up soon.
Look for signs and wear you tool belt.