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Members of Lycoming College’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity dedicated their spring break to community service. This year’s trip took 20 students and three advisors to Taos, N.M., for a week-long service trip.
Habitat works to provide affordable housing to those in need while giving members of the community a unique opportunity to give back. The college works closely with the Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity in which Lycoming’s chapter works to raise money for the affiliate. The spring break trip is part of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge where students travel to a location in the country to work on projects.
Students who participated included Michael Competiello, Oak Ridge, N.J.; Shante Dennis, Kingston; Lyndsay Devereaux, Hillsborough, N.J.; Rebeka Dickie, Plymouth, Wisc.; Sam Gonzalez, Marlton, N.J.; Erin Hale, Oakfield, N.Y.; Leah Handwerk, Hockessin, Del.; Chloe Hess, Ephrata; Jordyn Hotchkiss, Weare, N.H.; Kathryn Hubert, Ellicott City, Md.; Amanda Kellagher, Saint Clair; Casey Manion, Clarksville, Md.; Richard Matel-Galatis, Hillsborough, N.J.; Bryan McGinnis, Levittown; Jenny Monico, Harleysville; Phuong Nguyen, Hanoi, Vietnam; Matt Ruth, Seven Valleys; Anh Tran, Washington, D.C.; Annie Wegman, Douglassville; and Katy Wrona, Arnold.
This year, Habitat worked on a house for a single mother raising her two children. The week’s work included laying cinder blocks, filling cement for adobe brick walls, preparing frames for the house’s foundation, installing insulation and digging trenches for electric and water lines. Another aspect of the job involved organizing donations given to the local Taos Habitat Restore, a store that collects tools, furniture, building supplies, and other materials needed to put the Habitat projects into action.
The group stayed in downtown Taos at a previous convent owned by The Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Church, sleeping on air mattresses every night. Outside of working, the group spent a majority of its time exploring the culture and city of Taos. It also hiked the gorgeous Rio Grande Gorge.
Wegman, a senior and president of Lycoming’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, said that “Hiking in the Rio Grande Gorge was probably one of the best memories, it was so beautiful!”
One special moment of this year’s trip was being able to see the house that Lycoming Habitat helped build in 2010, and also meeting the family they spent this particular trip working for. The Mares family was able to meet the team, making the project even more memorable for the group.
For Wegman, this was her final Habitat trip with the college.
“All the friends I’ve made and the people I’ve met because of Habitat amazes me,” Wegman said. “It always is such a joy and blessing to see college students donate their spring break to travel across the country to build a house for a family or individual they’ve never met.”
The Habitat service trips are a great way for the students to bond over something that benefits others. Wegman said, “It’s been such a blessing to be a part of and lead Habitat over these past few years. I have many memories of our events and trips, and have formed many friendships. I am so thankful to this amazing group of students and advisors.”
Lycoming College Habitat for Humanity is a Christian-based organization that has been active on campus since 1990. In addition to its annual spring break trip, the chapter is involved in the local community. The college dedicated its first Habitat house in December 2003.
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.