Habitat offers alternative spring break get-away
As spring break approaches, 20 members of the UW-Eau Claire chapter of Habitat for Humanity are trading in visions of tropical drinks, lounge chairs and sandy beaches for visions of hammers, 2x4s and the Louisiana Bayou.
The chapter will be spending spring break in Baton Rouge, La., building a house for a future Habitat homeowner.
The national organization holds its annual Collegiate Challenge each spring from February through April, bringing young adults to building sites across the country to lend a hand.
The Collegiate Challenge participants are provided housing where they can sleep, shower and cook. However, Challenge participants must cover all other expenses, including transportation and food.
For the Eau Claire Habitat members, that meant gathering $250 per person to finance the trip. In order to meet this requirement Habitat members held fundraisers and asked for donations throughout the year.
Sophomore Noah Ordway said the expense is worth the experience. He worked on a Collegiate Challenge project in Philadelphia last year where he was able to work on a house in an inner city neighborhood.
“Working on a Habitat project, you see a whole other side of the coin,” he said.
The group will not be giving up all of the fun and relaxation normally associated with spring break, though.
“(The trip) is a good way to go someplace new,” said Ryan Prechel, Habitat treasurer.
Ordway said one of the main reasons to go on such a trip is to help people.
“It’s pretty amazing that by doing (a Habitat project) you can really make some dreams come true,” he said.