Students Spend Spring Break Building Homes in Columbus

WC Students reflect on Habitat Service Trip

35 Washington College Students, led by group advisor Maria Hynson, partnered with the Columbus area Habitat for Humanity over spring break to build a home for a family in need. The year’s host was Wanda Banks and family, who participated alongside the group in the construction of their future home.  This spring break marked the group’s fifth year straight spent in Columbus, GA, where partnerships between the local community and WC continue to grow. The following is a series of testimonials from this year’s participants.

“Habitat does something so important that really changes the lives of so many people. There really aren’t enough words to express that.”
– Melody Bishop ’15

“We are changing somebody’s life, and from this experience, looking at the world in different perspectives. I’ve met people I’ve never seen before and I am building closer friendships.”
– Hayley Bowden ’14

“Everyone has worked so hard, always with a smile and a helping hand for others on the team. I can’t believe it’s been over four years since I went on my first Habitat trip. Collectively, these trips have been the best five weeks of my life! We’ve all shed a little blood, tons of sweat, and many tears (of joy). Everyone has represented Washington College and Habitat so well. What a classy group!”
– Professor Dave Wharton

“We are not just building a house, but a home where people can live and create new memories with their families. A place where they can keep their belongings, celebrate birthdays, and decorate just the way they like.”
– Sam Bulkilvish ’09

“It’s true that I have done a lot for others through my involvement with Habitat for Humanity, but it is impossible to express through words what I have been given throguh my experiences in the last three Collegiate Challenges. I see my opportunities to participate in the program as an incredible gift; I have built three houses that have since become homes.”
– Amanda Whitaker ’12

“I have had such an amazing time and I’ve learned so much and formed some serious bonds. I told my dad I know how to shingle now and replied with ‘Can you start next week?'”
– Amanda Haar ’15

“We spend so much of our lives looking down the ground at our own two feet. Habitat has enabled and reminded me to look up at the sky, at the broad universe, at others. Habitat has provided me with four humbling experiences through which I have learned: 1) never forget to look up, 2) listen often, 3) carry Band-aids, 4) be humbled, and 5) always have a hammer ready because homes are built not made.”
– Alyssa Velazquez ’12

“This is my third home I have built, and honestly, it keeps getting better. I see the community change for the better, one house at a time.”
– Billie Ricketts ’13

“Our culture has evolved so that the basic needs of many are not met so that a privileged minority can experience a higher standard of living, and as a society we are trained to accept inequity as part of a flaw in the human condition. Habitat for Humanity empowers people to participate in the unveiling of that dominant myth to the truth of the situation: people are deprived of the opportunity to enjoy a life without struggle and hardship, and when given the chance to better their situations, they seize it with inexpressible gratitude. By viewing labor as a gift, and gifting our lives in devotion to communities instead of commodities, we might start to reveal the brilliance of the human condition—the endless capacity to care, cooperate, and love.”
– Shane Brill ’03

“Even though I went on the Habitat trip last year for community service hours, I came back for both the relationships I wanted to continue with the families and the partners of WC HFH, and for the mission I wanted to continue: to provide affordable housing to those who need it and deserve it. The work we do here is a stone, dropped in the middle of a pond, sends ripples out to the community. We aren’t just helping one family, we are inspiring and motivating a whole neighborhood of people to believe that they can make their street or their part of their town or their city beautiful both outside and inside.”
– Darcy Klinedinst ’13

“It was an amazing experience. The relationships I built this week will last, hopefully, a lifetime. A bond was created between us, the workers, and our family  that will never be broken. This was my first time doing Habitat for Humanity, and I can’t wait for next year! This trip and week far exceeded my expectations. All I can say is ‘Wow! Way to go WAC!'”
– Kristin Moore ’13

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