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2012 Spring Issue 1 (April 6, 2012)

On Habitat for Humanity trips, volunteering Carls successfully build houses and friendships

April 6, 2012
By Russel Peterson

Spring break: a chance to relax or an opportunity for community service?

While many students spent their spring breaks in the comfort of their homes or in tropical wonderlands, some generous Carls volunteered for Habitat for Humanity programs through Carleton. Every year, Habitat provides students with a chance to rebuild homes and communities.

This year, 21 people were sent to Sheridan, Wyo., while another 14 left for Waterloo, Iowa.

Kathy Dooley ’15, a participant on the Wyoming trip, reflected on the week that she spent working and the lasting connections she made with her new friends.

“It was a really fun learning experience and a good way to meet other people from Carleton [who] I otherwise wouldn’t have met,” she said.

Kristine Nachbor ‘12 and Reed Jordan ’12 co-led the Wyoming trip, but leading and organizing the program was no easy task.
“We had to register for the sites, plan the routes, rent cars, secure the budget, all that,” said Nachbor, an experienced volunteer. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.”

Explaining the living situation, Jordan said, “Housing was provided for all 21 of us. From then on, we were working with local Habitat partners to build this house.”

Once at their site, participants helped shingle the roof, painted the exterior, and installed insulation for the future house.

Yet the trip wasn’t all work and no fun. The volunteers took advantage of their beautiful surroundings whenever they had the opportunity.

“It was so beautiful,” Dooley said. “We got to go hiking. And by that time, we were all pretty much friends.”

Overall, these Habitat programs have not only brought fellow Carleton students together, but have helped make a difference in the communities that they served.

“We supplied the volunteer labor,” Jordan said. “Without it, the projects would not have been completed. We were sort of like a link on this chain that secured this house and this community.”

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