Imagine building a house.
This is generally a task set aside for carpenters, contractors and construction workers.
Or at least men and women who’ve had some technical training in creating a house.
Now, instead of picturing all those skilled workers completing the task, imagine random college students.
Kind of scary if you think about it, but have no fear, they have supervisors.
Numerous college students across the country have accepted the enormous task of making a house into a home.
There are many outlets for this community service, but Habitat for Humanity has been the service of choice for some Temple University students.
For the past three years, the Office of Community Service, along with many other sponsors, has sent students to various Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the South for Alternative Spring Break Collegiate Challenges.
A new group is selected every year consisting of a diverse group of students and chaperones.
Over spring break this year, 24 volunteers went to Avon Park, Florida.
In the past three years, they’ve worked on everything from putting the roof on a house to putting up vinyl siding to painting and tiling.
No job is too big or too small for these enthusiastic folks.
Upon arriving home in Philadelphia from this year’s trip, many students said they felt a renewed sense of vigor for the local community.
If they can help a community 1,000 miles away, they can help one in their own neighborhood.
“I think that doing similar projects in North Philadelphia and the surrounding community are even more important because unlike building a home in Florida, we will actually have an opportunity to see firsthand how a brand new home changes people lives and how our work impacts the community,” said Jennifer Connor, a community service coordinator.
The Office of Community Service is attempting to renew a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity at Temple University.
There were worthwhile efforts in the past to keep a solid organization, but they died down when interest faded.
Currently, there is a North Philadelphia affiliate located at 17th and Berks streets with which Temple students have worked in the past.
The new chapter will focus on homelessness and hunger.
“I am hoping that Temple students will be able to work one on one with people in the community to try and alleviate some of the problems in the area, such as lack of resources, food, and clothing,” said Aja Settles, a public relations liaison for the Office of Community Service.
Settles’ interest in this topic stemmed from a National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness at the University of Pennsylvania this past fall.
She encouraged other schools to join Temple, and explained that “the stronger the team we have, the bigger the impact we will make.”
As of now, the organization has its constitution finalized with the Office of Student Activities.
They just want a few responsible people to step up to accept officer positions.
Temple junior and architecture major Dan Sullivan, who worked with the most recent Habitat for Humanity trip, has shown interest in helping renew this group.
“I just feel like I got so much out of helping the people down in Florida that I want to try to make a difference closer to home. I just hope other will feel the same way,” he said.
For more information about the Temple chapter for Habitat for Humanity, contact Aja Settles at the Office of Community Service, room A6 in the Student Center or call 215-204-7741.
Holly Logan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.