|Students Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Pendleton, W.V. for Spring Break
In lieu of traveling to the beach or catching up on sleep, 22 Lebanon Valley College students and staff are helping families obtain simple and affordable housing during their spring break by working with Habitat for Humanity in Pendleton, West Virginia.
The students and staff, serving March 2 to 7, are participants in Habitat’s national alternative break program, Collegiate Challenge. The Habitat center at which they will work, “Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity,” is situated in a highly remote area of the Appalachian Mountains.
“We will be 60 miles from the nearest Walmart and 30 miles from the nearest grocery store,” said Rev. Paul Fullmer, LVC’s chaplain and director of community service, and the advisor of the Habitat for Humanity chapter at Lebanon Valley College. “Cell phone service is spotty at best. Even cellular data plans may not be functional at our location. The students are looking forward to the adventure of being in such a rural setting.”
The trip marks the fifth time that the College has participated in the Collegiate Challenge. It has also recently served with Camp Hill-based Lend a Hand ministry. In May of this year, the College will sponsor its first international service trip as 16 students and faculty travel to Peru.
In addition to the satisfaction that comes with serving the community, an incentive programs rewards students for their service. Students who participate will earn up to 40 hours of community service for awards that are noted on their LVC Job Center Profile. Bronze, Silver or Gold Community Service Awards based upon the number of hours a student serves the local community are posted on LVC’s Job Center Profile for the information of prospective employers. Students who serve the local community are also recognized at an annual banquet and in the commencement program.
The service project is part of a series of programs designed in support of LVC’s goal to “prepare students for a life of service to others,” a key tenet of the College’s mission statement. Throughout the academic year, students also service during LVC’s Orientation Service Project, host community service organization at a volunteer fair, and participate in several national service initiatives including Make a Difference Day each fall, MLK, Jr. Day of Service each January, and United Way of Lebanon County’s “Day of Caring” in the spring.
Since Habitat was founded in 1976, Habitat has helped build or repair more than 800,000 houses and served more than 4 million people around the world. For the past 22 years, more than 182,000 students have spent their school breaks volunteering across the country through this Habitat for Humanity program.
“We recognize that these students could have done a number of things during their spring break and are grateful for their support to help families obtain affordable housing,” said Cody Logsdon, Habitat’s manager of youth volunteer engagement at Habitat for Humanity. “The work these students will do during their spring break will have a lasting impact in communities across the country.”
Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge is one of the many programs Habitat has to engage youth ages 5 to 25 in Habitat’s work. Since 2007, State Farm has served as the national corporate sponsor of Habitat for Humanity’s youth programs, with a sponsorship commitment of more than $1.1 million in grants each year. Additionally, State Farm offices contribute more than $500,000 annually to Habitat affiliates across the United States.