Habitat helps with restoration project

St. Ambrose’s Habitat for Humanity spent their spring break in Charleston, South Carolina, to help with a restoration project. One restoration project involved the Habitat members restoring a roof on a woman’s house.

While most students were either soaking up the sun somewhere other than the Midwest, or at home catching up on sleep during their spring break, 11 students and two advisors from the St. Ambrose Habitat for Humanity club were hard at work. They took a road-trip to Charleston, South Carolina, to help with a restoration project. Their entire break was spent putting a new roof on a woman’s house.
The first thing the group had to do was rip off the old roof, which was in poor condition. After that, they removed the old plywood and replaced it. Then, they worked diligently to replace the roof with brand new shingles. This was not a job with tangible rewards for the volunteers until the roof was completed, however the finished roof was not the most gratifying part of the project. Rather, it was the impact the entire experience had on their spirit that made the whole trip worthwhile.
“Personally, from this opportunity I get to learn about myself in an environment that is outside my comfort zone, which is where you learn about yourself the most,” Habitat for Humanity Event Chair and Trip Leader Shelby Smith said. “It was great being the team leader because I led reflections after our workdays and it was interesting to see the growth and the feelings that others were experiencing.”
Another student volunteer, Kevin Annis, found the impact of the trip to be similar to Smith’s.
“After seeing the face of the woman we helped when we were working on her roof and after seeing how much we accomplished keeps me wanting to do things for people whether it’s building a house or something as small as a hello or a laugh,” Annis said. “It really made me want to help as many people around me as possible.”
Having the opportunity to help those in need inspired Annis so much that he is considering making a trip with Habitat International to Honduras in the future.
The work that the Habitat volunteers accomplished didn’t only affect the homeowner in a positive way. It had the ability to touch people on a larger scale.
“The AmeriCorps workers emphasized the importance of the volunteers’ understanding of the impact they have on the recipient of the work and the community as a whole. Neighbors would walk by and see what we were doing. This kind of work can change a whole community,” Smith said.
For those who would like to have the chance to serve others in this way, visit the Habitat for Humanity website at http://web.sau.edu/activities/habitat/default.htm.

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