Spring Break Vacations Spent Swinging Hammers


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While many undergrads indulge in drunken, half-naked debauchery this spring break, others are finding their only "vice" in the word "service".

Groups of college students across the country are doing the latter from their ladders this year via Habitat for Humanity, as they spend their vacations volunteering. But Hannah Cane of St. Joseph’s College doesn’t consider it “work”. The Campus Habitat Chapter President who came to Amarillo, Texas this year explains, “It’s getting up and doing the right thing.”

A few hours away, the Habitat volunteers in Wichita Falls feel similarly.

“To come and build not just a house but a home for someone is really meaningful,” says Brooke Lietzke, a University of Jamestown junior. Brooke is one of two groups spending the week in Witchita Falls and helping build a dwelling for a single mom and her kids. She went on to express what it’s like to be part of the joy the soon-to-be homeowner is already feeling, saying:

“We've gotten to meet the future owner of the house and she is just so excited. Yesterday she came back and we had put doors on her house and we had enclosed her porch and so she's really starting to feel like it's going to be her home."

As the single Texas mom looks forward to her new home, another single mom is grateful for the service of a Habitat group visiting her in Leechburg, PA to do the same. 20 students from Providence College in Rhode Island also forewent R&R this year to help erect a residence for the mom and her 7-year-old.

And these student volunteers are surprised to learn what they personally are getting out of the experience.

“I've never done home improvement work before and never used a staple gun before coming here,” said Caitlin Trainor, a senior and co-team leader. She added, “This has pushed me out of my comfort zone — I've found I'm really good at insulating!” Kate Hickner, Campus Habitat Vice President, working with the Amarillo group can attest to this. She stated,"The fact that we're able to get out and expand our horizons and just do good - we've learned since we've been here in Amarillo it’s an area of need.”

If you’re thinking “Ah, I wish I’d done that back in college” - it’s never too late! Florida veteran Charles Baker was thankful for the home help repairs Habitat for Humanity offered him as well:

In sum, the drive to give back for spring break (or any break) might be best summed up by Hannah Cane:

"We just feel like we would rather spend our spring break doing good instead of laying on the beach and getting tans.”

Image via Youtube