Habitat for Humanity uses Spring Break to build houses

Sarah Antonacci

Contributing Writer

Over Spring Break, 20 University students and two faculty members traveled to North Carolina as part of Habitat for Humanity. Most of the students were sophomores and juniors, accompanied by University employees Ron and Lisa Marquette.

The group volunteered at two different sites in Rocky Mount, N.C. during the trip. At the first site, the group laid laminate flooring and constructed a shed. At the second site, the group laid the concrete foundation for a home. By the time they left, the students and faculty members had framed the entire house and put up about half of the roof trusses.

“We gained an excellent feeling of accomplishment from helping to build a home for a family in need,” Jared Kern ’14 said.

These projects took immense effort and the participants had to work efficiently in order to get this work done in such a short period of time. Unfortunately, the group was not able to meet the families receiving the homes, but the participants were able to speak with neighbors in the area who were thrilled to see new houses being built.

“At night we did activities like bowling, mini golf, and playing in a nearby park,” Kern said. “The Sunday after arriving we also drove to the Outer Banks for a day at the beach. This trip was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had on Spring Break.”

This whole excursion was part of Collegiate Challenge, which is run by Habitat for Humanity. Through this program, the group also had the opportunity to work closely with students from Stockton College in New Jersey. This program attracts many college students and faculty, and creates a way for people from different backgrounds to take part in community service together.

“I personally was interested in this trip because I wanted to spend my Spring Break doing something worthwhile,” Audrey Tolbert ’15, a leader of the trip, said. “As Bucknellians, we have been so fortunate in all that we have, so I wanted to give back. I think it opened all of our eyes to how fortunate we are and showed us how grateful people are for the things we take for granted.”

Habitat for Humanity will start advertising in the fall for the next trip, and the group encourages students interested in joining to take part in the application process at that time. Habitat for Humanity is also currently organizing the Rubber Duck Derby which will take place on April 27. 

“The Spring Break trip was a whole different world outside of Bucknell. I learned how to live with 20 people in tight quarters, make mistakes and fix them, hammer a ton of nails and have an absolutely fantastic time. The one week went by way too fast,” Megan Smith ’15 said.

“Next year we would like to find a way to advertise the trip to freshmen to get them involved,” Kern said.

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