Habitat For Humanity

Habitat For Humanity: Building Hope for a Future

Spring Break is a time where many college students all over the United States flock to beaches and warm areas to get away from the stresses of college life. For Spring Break 2011, 160 students from across the country traveled to Columbus, Georgia for a week of rebuilding the Columbus community with Habitat For Humanity and I was blessed to be one of those students. We were able to work alongside the future homeowners of the six houses we built and inspire them to have hope for a better future. It was an incredible experience to see how we were positively effecting the community and the families lives.

(My best friend, Meg, and me after completing the roof of our Habitat house during Spring Break 2012)

Since being founded in 1976, Habitat For Humanity has built over 400,000 houses worldwide, serving more than 2 million people, making it a leader in addressing the issue of homelessness. 41% of the homeless population are families. Homelessness is a devastating experience for families and can damage the physical and mental health of family members, interfere with children’s education, and effects older family members ability to find employment. Habitat For Humanity helps to improve conditions for the homeless so that they can have the basic necessity of having a roof over their heads, a place for children to grow and learn, and to give them a sense of hope for the future. Because of Habitat’s philosophy “a hand up, not a hand out,” future homeowners are required to put in 500 hours of labor into their new homes, giving them a sense of accomplishment and inspires them to get their lives back on track.

(AU Alpha Phi's building a house during Spring Break 2012)

During my freshman year of college, I served on the Ashland Habitat For Humanity Executive Board as a fundraising coordinator and I greatly enjoyed working with my school and the Ashland community to raise awareness and funds for the Habitat For Humanity Organization. Besides fundraising for Habitat For Humanity, I was blessed to travel to Columbus, Georgia with students from across the country to rebuild the Columbus, Georgia community. While I was there I also produced a mini-documentary for Habitat For Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge Program to promote awareness of Habitat‘s cause. As I enter my sophomore year of college, I will be the local builds coordinator where I will plan and promote volunteer opportunities with Habitat For Humanity to Ashland University students and emphasize the impact they can have on our community. I look forward to the multiple opportunities volunteering with Habitat For Humanity will present in my life and the enrichment it will provide to my volunteer experience.

(With AU friends during Spring Break 2011)

Someone once said, “hands can build a house, but only hearts can build a home.”  Habitat For Humanity volunteers don’t just build a house for a family; they build a home where the family can grow, learn, play, and be safe. Combining my work as a Miss Ohio titleholder and Habitat For Humanity volunteer, I can put an emphasis on the importance of a stronger community through inspiring those affected by homelessness that there is hope for a better future.

(Photo above: pictured with the house that I worked on during the 2011 Spring Break Trip)