Habitat hosts student volunteers for spring break

COUNTY — 35 students from Otterbein, Vanderbilt and Harvard universities will help build homes and improve the community during their spring break as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program.

The students are spending the weeks of Feb. 29-March 18 volunteering with Pickens County Habitat.

“Every year I am amazed that these young adults take their spring break to sleep on the floor and work very hard all week to do something for someone that they do not know instead of opting to go to the beach or any one of many other spring break options. Their help is invaluable to us and the families that they work to help,” said Cindy Sanders, executive director of Pickens County Habitat for Humanity.

This year’s groups will work in Liberty, helping to build porches, work on the roof and paint and will also work in Easley to frame a house.

In total, Habitat for Humanity organizations across the U.S. will host 7,500 college and high school students in 182 communities as part of the 2016 Habitat Collegiate Challenge.

“Our Collegiate Challenge program unites students from across the country with the common goal of helping people who are ready to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Maureen O’Leary, Habitat for Humanity International’s associate director of youth and young professional engagement. “Every hand helps Habitat homeowners build a foundation they need for a brighter future. We’re grateful to the thousands of students who choose to spend their spring break volunteering with Habitat. With our help, Habitat homeowners have the opportunity to build what we all deserve — a decent place to live.”

Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program has engaged students 16 years of age and older to spend one week volunteering on a local Habitat construction or community project. Nearly 240,000 students have volunteered a week of their time and donated over $28 million to support Habitat’s work in local communities.

Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge is one of several programs Habitat established to engage the next generation of leaders in Habitat’s work. For more information or to register for a Habitat Collegiate Challenge event, visit