During the month of March, students from four different colleges will help Habitat for Humanity of Craven County build a home during their spring break as part of Habitat’s Annual Collegiate Challenge program. Over four weeks, a total of 52 students will volunteer to work on Home #62 in New Bern.
“We are always delighted and energized to have these young men and women work with us on a Habitat home and it is interesting to see how much they can get accomplished over the four week period,” said Deedra Durocher, Habitat Craven’s Volunteer Coordinator. The students usually have an opportunity to meet and work with the homeowner who has been selected for this home; each homeowner must commit to a minimum of 200 sweat equity hours in the building of their own home.
Overnight accommodations are being provided by area churches and some meals are being hosted by individuals, churches, or civic organizations. “I have been so impressed with the gracious hospitality that is being extended to our visiting students by this community,” said Durocher. “We still have some openings for meals or hosted events we’d like to schedule for each of the groups, so hopefully those pieces will fall into place over the next week or so,” she said.
Sacred Heart University from Connecticut will be the first to arrive with 15 students on March 5 for their first visit to New Bern. Case Western Reserve University from OH will send 12 students to New Bern for their second year on March 12. Another first time group of 10 will come from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire on March 19. The final week of March 25 will be filled by 15 students from the University of Delaware, here for their fifth year of volunteering. Habitat for Humanity organizations across the US will host some 7,500 college and high school groups in over 182 communities as part of the 2017 Habitat Collegiate Challenge. This program is one of several established by Habitat for Humanity International to engage the next generation of leaders in Habitat’s mission to eradicate substandard and poverty housing. “The Collegiate Challenge exposes students from across the country with a common goal of helping people build a better life for themselves and their families,” explained Durocher. “Every individual will be involved in building this home, but also building a foundation for a family to have a brighter future. We’re grateful to the commitment of these young men and women who are choosing to spend their spring break volunteering with Habitat Craven County,” she said.
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County was established in 1989 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit Christian housing ministry. Over the last 27 years, the local organization has built 61 homes in partnership with homeowners who are deemed eligible by the Selection Committee. When each home is completed, the homeowner is responsible to pay a no-interest mortgage and other expenses associated with owning their own home. Habitat does not give away houses, but makes it possible for deserving families to realize their dream of homeownership.
For additional information about Habitat Craven County, or to offer New Bern hospitality to any of the visiting college groups, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 252-633-9599.
Submitted by: Deedra Durocher, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County