Lycoming students swing hammers for blitz build in Virginia

Lycoming students swing hammers for blitz build in Virginia

Ericka Booker, a junior Spanish and international studies major from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Morgan Luke, a senior international studies and political science major from Williamsport, Pa., showing off their hammers.

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Several students, faculty and staff at Lycoming College joined dozens of other volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity blitz build — where a large number of volunteers build a house in a few days —in Warrenton, Va. The volunteers were able to finish the entire exterior of a house including the walls, siding, roof and shingles in a single weekend in late October.

The blitz build was organized by the Road Trip Crazies, a group of volunteers that includes Michael Kurtz, Ph.D., Lycoming assistant professor of economics. Joining him from the College was the Rev. Jeff LeCrone, director of spiritual life and community service, and four students.

Joining the dozens of Road Trip Crazies were another few dozen volunteers from the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity in Fauquier County, Va., and the Navarrete family who will be living in the house. In exchange for an interest-free loan on the house, the family puts some sweat equity into their house and other nearby Habitat for Humanity projects.

“It was great to have the students join the Road Trip Crazies on this build and I look forward to working with more students on future projects,” said Kurtz. “We appreciate the College sponsoring our trip to help a great cause.”

During the event, students gained experience with siding, roofing and other construction activities. They also helped position materials within reach of more experienced volunteers. The students are members of the College’s Lycoming Advancing Communities by Educating and Serving (LACES) organization, who wanted to get some construction experience before they travel to the Dominican Republic in the spring to complete similar community projects.

“The event was a great introduction for these students to the work of Habitat for Humanity,” said LeCrone. “Having the family that is buying the house working at the site helped our students understand the need for decent, affordable housing for hard working families.”

The interior of the house will be completed by other Habitat for Humanity volunteers in the upcoming weeks.

  • Only a concrete sub-floor greeted the volunteers during the opening ceremony on Saturday morning.

    Only a concrete sub-floor greeted the volunteers during the opening ceremony on Saturday morning.

  • Carolina Navarrete (second from left) poses with the Lycoming College volunteers, from left in back: LeCrone, Gracia, Hoff and Kurtz. Front: Booker and Luke.

    Carolina Navarrete (second from left) poses with the Lycoming College volunteers, from left in back: LeCrone, Gracia, Hoff and Kurtz. Front: Booker and Luke.

  • Ramon and Carolina Navarrete, and two of their four children enjoy a brief moment with Lycoming College students.

    Ramon and Carolina Navarrete, and two of their four children enjoy a brief moment with Lycoming College students.

  • Jessica Hoff, a junior sociology and Spanish major from Lambertville, N.J., places siding.

    Jessica Hoff, a junior sociology and Spanish major from Lambertville, N.J., places siding.

  • Luke and Booker help out on the roof.

    Luke and Booker help out on the roof.

  • Lycoming student Brandan Gracia, a sophomore anatomy and physiology major from Houston, Texas, helps build scaffolding.

    Lycoming student Brandan Gracia, a sophomore anatomy and physiology major from Houston, Texas, helps build scaffolding.

  • The volunteers make great progress by the end of Saturday morning.

    The volunteers make great progress by the end of Saturday morning.