Michigan Students Spend Break Helping Build Home in Big Bend [SLIDE SHOW]

By: Big Bend Habitat for Humanity; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Big Bend Habitat for Humanity; Lanetra Bennett Email
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By: Lanetra Bennett
March 4, 2013

It's no secret that the Sunshine State is a top destination for many spring breakers.

But, instead of hitting the beach or a Florida attraction, one group of college students from Michigan is spending the week helping build a home for a family in need.

It's Spring Break, and what are these college students doing?

Building a house.

Sixteen students from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan traveled to Tallahassee to participate in the Collegiate Challenge. It's Habitat for Humanity's national alternative break program.

One of the students, Danielle Dodson says, "It's so nice to be able to work with the people who are going to won the house, and meet them and meet their children and actually work on it with them. It's been a really great experience."

The house is on Harris Street.

Students are working hand-in-hand with the homeowner, sponsor volunteers and habitat construction staff.

Grand Valley State student Anne Hasper says, "We are not only giving, but we're also receiving. I've been learning how to build things, and about caulking and I've been learning a lot of stuff."

The students say they don't mind giving up their spring break for the deed.

Hasper says, "It's always fun to have fun. But, it's so much more fulfilling. It's really, I think, going to be more life-affecting and life-changing to spend time meeting and being with other people who are willing to serve."

Students didn't have to give up the *full* Florida spring break experience. "It's so nice to have beautiful skies, and the sun." Says, Dodson.

For the past 24 years, more than 208,000 students have spent their school breaks volunteering across the country through the program -- donating more than $20 million to Habitat affiliates.


Press Release: Big Bend Habitat for Humanity

TALLAHASSEE, Fl (March 3-9, 2013) Big Bend Habitat for Humanity (BBHH) will host students from Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Michigan) during their spring break, March 3rd through March 9th, to help build a home for a family in need of affordable housing. Approximately sixteen (16) students from the university are participating in Habitat for Humanity’s national alternative break program, Collegiate Challenge.

Collegiate Challenge student volunteers will work on the home of Elizabeth Powell and her family on the FSU/Episcopal/Rotary Lenten Build. This will be the fourth year Grand Valley State has participated in partnership with BBHH. The event will kick-off with a welcome dinner at 4:00 pm for the student volunteers on Sunday, March 3rd at Jacob Chapel Baptist Church. Building hours are 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and will begin on Monday, March 4th and continue through Friday, March 8th , with students departing on Saturday, March 9th. The students will reside at the FSU Reservation and will travel to the build site each day (excluding Wednesday) to work hand-in-hand with the homeowner family, sponsor volunteers and Habitat construction staff.

For the past 24 years, more than 208,000 students have spent their school breaks volunteering across the country through Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program, donating more than $20 million to Habitat affiliates.

"We’re grateful to Big Bend Habitat for Humanity for hosting the students as part of Collegiate Challenge," said Jenn Skudlarek, Habitat for Humanity International’s manager of U.S. volunteer programs. “Their work together makes a meaningful difference and will have a lasting impact in communities across the country.”

The Collegiate Challenge program is one of the many programs Habitat has to engage youth ages 5 to 25 in Habitat’s work. In addition to the ongoing support State Farm® offices provide to local Habitat affiliates across the United States, State Farm has served as the national corporate sponsor of Habitat for Humanity’s youth programs since 2007.

About Big Bend Habitat for Humanity

Big Bend Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit ecumenical ministry dedicated to the elimination of substandard housing and homelessness in Leon and Gadsden Counties.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.


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