Habitat For Humanity
College is a unique time of life.
It is arguably the stage of life where you have the least responsibility and most freedom. It’s a time when you can truly focus on yourself–your aspirations, your academics, your dreams, goals, life, social life, sex life, etc. College students generally have very little to worry about beyond their own circumstances. Life only brings more responsibility the older you get. So college is a great time to focus on yourself. And what’s possibly the most self-focused week of the academic year? Spring Break. Perhaps coronas on a beach laden with drunken sweaty co-eds sounds like bliss to you. Or maybe this thought has run through your mind: Is this really it? Is the most fulfilling thing about life really that it’s just about me?
If you’re over the typical springbreak raunchfest maybe you should explore a more fulfilling way to spend the 200 free hours you’ve been given. Perhaps you can help give to someone else—someone in need.
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina wiped out more than 850,000 homes across the Gulfcoast region.
Organizations like Habitat for Humanity are helping to rebuild lives one brick at a time. Hundreds of college students trek down to the coastal area and other places of need each summer and spring break to band together and construct homes for people who really need them.
Did you know houses can be built in one week’s time? A few years ago I went to Reynosa, Mexico for a week and along with 30 of my friends helped to build two houses. And sure, the people who we built the homes for lived somewhere before, it just happened to have a dirt floor. I personally am a firm believer that no one has to live that way. And its pretty incredible to know that to this day those strangers in Mexico have a foundation beneath their feet because a group I was a part of built it for them.
Donations Can Cover Your Trip
One stellar aspect about a trip like this is that friends and relatives do not mind contributing financially to help you get there. Mention a good cause—and helping to provide homes is definitely a good cause—and people start whipping out pens and checkbooks. Not only will people you know help you but there are tons of organizations that are just waiting for someone to present them with a “pay it forward’ opportunity. When asking for money be sure to mention that donations are tax deductible.
And maybe you’re worried about your 5’3” frame hammering a roof in the blazing sun. Make no mistake I am definitely no carpenter. But there are ways for all skill levels and muscle strengths to contribute to transforming a stack of wood into a home. You might just learn something handy along the way.
So before you get camera-ready for MTV’s next spring break bikini contest consider that there may be a far more life-changing way to invest your time. Check out networkforgood.org or usafreedomcorps.gov for opportunities to serve. Your spring break this year could change someone’s life.
By Hillary Sutton