TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 27, 2004
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Trading break for a good cause
The university is sponsoring a Habitat for Humanity Spring Break trip.

By John Anderson

As Spring Break approaches, some students have decided to trade their week of vacation for a week of manual labor.

TCU’s Habitat for Humanity chapter is sponsoring a trip to Los Lunas, N.M., during Spring Break to help build a home.

“It shows a lot about a person who chooses to build a home for someone instead of going to party in Cancun,” said Andy Walker, the president of TCU’s Habitat chapter.
The trip is open to anyone and will cost $100, which will cover food, lodging, transportation and building materials.

“It is a chance to do something productive with your Spring Break instead of doing something for yourself,” said Courtney May, a sophomore nursing major.
Students have the opportunity to meet and work with the family they are building the house for.

“The owners help out with the work, and they are always grateful even if it is putting up a wall or cleaning the floor,” Walker said.

The Habitat chapter in Los Lunas, N.M., is a very strong affiliate and is rated the best chapter in the Western United States, said Robin Williamson, director of community service at TCU.

“When you are working with a family on their first home that they have ever owned in their life, it is pretty special,” Williamson said. “People come for the trips because they really want to do service and they want to do something meaningful with their Spring Break.”

Last year TCU participated in its first Habitat Spring Break trip in Americus, Ga.
“We are pretty limited to where we can go geographically just due to the time constraints of Spring Break,” Williamson said.

Habitat for Humanity provides professional home builders at the site to help students with any problems they might have.

Senior social work major Julia Drab went on last year’s trip and said she ended up asking a lot of questions but the professionals were very helpful in telling her what to do.

Williamson said someone learns a lot about their strengths and gets to learn skills they wouldn’t learn on a daily basis.Heather Creek, a sophomore ballet and political science major, has participated in Habitat since high school and said the experience has given her confidence about construction and using tools.

“It is an immediate gratification,” Creek said. “It is a great accomplishment to be there and see the finished product because you are creating something from nothing.”

Participants on the trip will have their own free time after building for the day is done.
Students will work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting March 13.

“It is a service project that I think is different than others,” Creek said. “Some projects don’t completely need you but this is your own craftsmanship and your own work. It is very empowering.”
 
 
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