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Habitat For Humanity Travels to Colorado

For the 2016 Spring break, members of EC Habitat for Humanity opted to participate in a service opportunity that took them to Woodland Park, Colorado.

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Instead of partaking in the typical break activities of vacationing, relaxing, or earning some extra money, the group of twenty students spent March 6 to 12 working on housing projects in the Woodland Park area. The team stayed at Lion’s Camp, which ordinarily serves as a summer camp and consists of heated, dorm-style housing.

Prior to embarking on the trip, the students filled out a questionnaire facilitated by Julie Hall assistant residence director, Alissa Lynch. The questionnaire, called the Strengths Quest Program, separated the trip members into three groups based on their complementary strengths. This initiative helped to form well-rounded groups made up of both creative as well as analytical individuals.

Throughout the week, the groups worked on numerous build sites with tasks such as completing the siding of houses as well as painting them. One such build site called Cripple Creek involved a painting project of three houses and other significant exterior work that called for members unafraid of climbing ladders and with equipment and installation skills.

President of EC Habitat for Humanity Keith Baillargeon ’16 and other trip members speak positively of the connections they made with program leaders and the families they served. Through shared dinners and stories, everyone gained a strong sense of commitment to the program and to each other.

“Meeting the families that we serve really impacts mood and the volunteering initiative,” said Baillargeon.

Also fulfilling to Baillargeon was the ability to use social media to reconnect with these individuals and to continue to see the progress made on the build sites the EC team was involved with.

Kevin Patterson also values this unique experience stating, “Going on the habitat spring break trip was truly life changing for me. I was able to see the impact that our work was having on these families and make connections with new people that will last for a long time.”

The students were also very much appreciated by those that they worked with on the trip, who according to Baillargeon, often praised the team’s “timeliness and attention to detail.”

Emma Zingg ’16 was “thrilled to see everyone’s appreciation of Habitat” and was even thanked for her work by a Colorado community member not involved with Habitat. Zingg said the incident gave her “an amazing feeling” and showed her “how necessary our service truly was.”

The trip also helped the students to reflect on their own lives. Sean Walsh ’16 said, “The trip helped me take a step back to breathe a little, and realize my worries may be taking me away from seeing the rest of what is beautiful in the world.”

The EC Habitat for Humanity hopes to submit for approval a plan for another service trip next year. Baillargeon believes the only major improvement for another trip would be further interaction between trip members prior to leaving so as to better utilize the time spent on the trip.

As for their goals for the near future, Habitat hopes to pair up with other campus chapters to maximize the volunteer work done throughout the community.

Haley Biermann is a Staff Writer for The Hub. She can be contacted at biermannh@emmanuel.edu.

Photo credits: Paige Emery ’18

Posted by on March 31, 2016. Filed under Around Campus,Clubs & Organizations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.