Over the course of spring break, nine students from Wheaton College traveled to Dade City, Fla. in order to work with Habitat for Humanity. As the Habitat for Humanity goal is to eliminate substandard housing and provide affordable living for low-income families, these students spent the week planning, constructing, and cooperating to develop practical and reasonably priced homes. Other students from Knox College and Case Western Reserve College joined the group from Wheaton, in addition to a diverse group of volunteers whose careers ranged from waitresses, nurses, physicians, politicians, and teachers. To guarantee productivity and safety, professional, experienced construction workers and architects supervised all volunteers.
Upon arrival, volunteers were divided into small groups of three to six people, each assigned to one professional construction worker. Each day, supervisors made formal presentations to confirm that the previous day’s work site was complete, in addition to assigning new tasks and reviewing goals for the current projects. Construction workers and supervisors were required to behave professionally and maintain a certain personality in order to work effectively with the group and make sure that volunteers are having an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Furthermore, they were exceptionally organized and resourceful while planning projects and had to maintain at least a basic knowledge of physics.
Volunteer projects throughout the week included developing protectors for windows, learning about different tools in order to use them correctly to make safe cuts while building, and cooperating with other volunteers and supervisors. Students left Florida at the end of the week feeling satisfied, educated, and proud.