Habitat for Humanity strives to provide everyone a decent place to live. As an affiliate of Habitat International, the UMass Chapter works directly with Pioneer Valley of Habitat for Humanity to build locally. Each year during Spring Break, we broaden our horizons and aspire to help a community in need around the US: this year, 20 UMass students will be driving to Georgetown, South Carolina to help the affiliate build homes for a week. This location is quite special: the Georgetown SC affiliate is the only affiliate in the United States with a Cottage Program, in which they build 1 bedroom homes for individuals 55+ whose homes are beyond basic repairs. We have had an incredible experience in the past and are looking forward to it again this year!
The spring break service trip is one of the most rewarding events for our club all year. We build together, we cook together, and we form new friendships together. It is an empowering and humbling trip, but most of all a learning experience. As a group of students that has never met before comes together to build in a community, we learn together about ourselves and about the communities we are so generously accepted into. It is a wonderful opportunity to completely immerse ourselves in the mission of Habitat: fighting substandard housing. We have been able to work alongside future homeowners, often times meeting their children and getting the privilege to hear their stories. Many of the communities we work with have been hard hit by natural disasters, including flooding in Georgia and tornadoes in Oklahoma.
The opportunity to help rebuild a community, both physically and socially, is life changing.
Not only do the communities we work with benefit from the labor we provide during the week, we as students gain confidence and skills. We have learned everything from how to effectively work as a team to put a roof on (harder than it sounds) to how to cook and feed 20 people at once. We learn from Habitat supervisors and other students construction skills that range from using a hammer properly, to putting up siding in a straight line (MUCH harder than it sounds). Most of all, we bring the spirit of community and giving back to UMass with us.
In order to continue to do this work, UMass Habitat for Humanity is asking for YOUR help. Our club runs entirely on fundraising, and the Spring Break trip is our largest expense of the year. We are asking for any support you can give to us. The money will go towards paying for our spring break fees, which serve as a main source of revenue for Habitat affiliates all over the country. As we have worked tirelessly all year to make this trip happen, the students of UMass Habitat THANK YOU!
Check us out on Campus Pulse: https://umassamherst.collegiatelink.net/organization/habitatforhumanity
To learn more about Habitat's mission or to discover volunteer opportunities look here: https://www.habitat.org/