Habitat for Humanity, one of our most active clubs here at Mercyhurst, has already had a full semester and is busy planning the rest of the year ahead. Truly embracing the Mercyhurst core value of being Ambassadors of Service, students involved with Habitat for Humanity are committed to journeying outside our gates to serve the Erie community and beyond.
Rent-a-Habitator is the club’s annual fundraiser for the Spring Break trip. These events occur on weekends in the fall, with students doing yard work or other household chores for professors and friends of Mercyhurst in exchange for a donation to the club. This year, 10 students participated across four weekends and six different sites.
“I get to meet professors that I may not get to in the classroom, and this allows me to meet other professors that are not within my major,” said Rent-a-Habitator coordinator, sophomore Abigail Springer.
Another exciting opportunity for Habitat for Humanity is the Erie ReStore project. The ReStore receives donations for home repairs and furniture and then resells them at a cheaper price. Volunteers, many of whom are actively involved in Habitat for Humanity at Mercyhurst, help with moving donations into the store, getting them ready to be resold, and carrying them for customers.
“I am very excited to get more involved with the Erie community and by going to the ReStore and the local builds,”junior Psychology major, Sydney Zajac said.
In addition to the Erie ReStore, Zajac is looking forward to participating in a local Habitat for Humanity build on Nov. 23, which is currently accepting Mercyhurst volunteers. One of the most popular Habitat for Humanity events each year is still months away, but for those leading the Spring Break trip, planning is already well underway. It was recently announced that this year a group of Mercyhurst students will be heading to Johns Island, South Carolina for the much anticipated week long trip.
“This year we wanted to change things up a bit so we chose three different locations that the [Habitat for Humanity] board then voted on,” said Habitat for Humanity club President, senior Intelligence major Georgie Warren, who has participated in the last three Spring Break trips to Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama.
“We wanted to find a location that is within an appropriate driving distance and price range, as well as a place that gives us fun things to do at night and on our day off,” Warren said.
Prior to the trip, the Habitat for Humanity board meets with the participating students to get to know everyone and to discuss fun things to do when not working. With a perfect Spring Break location, this year they are hoping to go to the beach and Charleston, South Carolina to enjoy the warm southern Spring weather.
“My absolute favorite part of going on the Spring Break trip for Habitat for Humanity is that every day we get to do and learn so many new things for a really good cause,” Warren said.
“I recommend that everyone go on at least one Habitat for Humanity trip during their time at Mercyhurst. You get to learn and do so many cool things, like paint, put shingles on a roof, put walls and a roof on a new house, and so much more.”
“The recipients of the Habitat homes have to prove that they are good citizens and they are required to volunteer on their own home in addition to volunteer for Habitat events as well. Habitat is not a handout, but a helping hand up. The people who receive the homes are so grateful for all of the volunteers who helped them, and all of the homes are all made with donated goods and are energy efficient” junior Intelligence Studies major, Julia Wrest, who has participated in Habitat for Humanity for the past few years, said.
For those interested in participating in this year’s Habitat for Humanity Spring Break trip, there are 18 spots open to students. You can contact Georgie Warren for more information, with sign-ups happening next month.