Habitat for Humanity sends students to Georgia

Kellie Gleeson

After driving in a bus for 20 hours, 10 students and two administrators started the experience of a life time. They arrived in Georgia at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, preparing to work at their sight the next morning and for the next week. The people that were able to attend the trip were Rebecca Clements, Alicia Ferraro, Erin Flagg, Stephanie Fletcher, Melissa Iatron, Katie Keane, Lauren Labrecque, Emily Lorandeau, Vanessa Mazzurco, and Bethany Oraitt. The Administrative staff members in attendance were Mrs. Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee, the assistant director of Community Service and experiential learning, and Tod Leu, a resident director.
When they arrived at the sight all they saw “a flat slab of concrete where a house is going to be,” said Vonniessen-Applebee.
Quinnipiac students worked with more than 200 students from all over the country to build houses. Most of these students were from a chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The goal was to build 10 houses in five days.
“There were two work stations. One had six houses the other had four. We were at the station with six houses,” said Vonniessen-Applebee.
“It was very cool,” said Vonniessen-Applebee. “We got to work with students from the University of North Dakota. We met students from all over.”
Rain and shine, these students built the frame, the roof, the siding, and placed the shingles on each of the houses. They did some inside work on the houses, but most of it had to be done plumbers and electricians who would arrive on the sight later that week. Also another group of students would be on sight a few weeks later to finish where student workers had left off.
When the students were not working, they stayed at a beautiful house on a lake. This was their time to relax and meet other people.
“When we were working, we knew that we were part of something huge. It is cool to know that you can contribute and create something where you can see the actual results. We had huge goals. No one came out of the trip unhappy, it was a great experience,” said Vonniessen-Applebee.
The demand for going on the trip was huge. Vonniessen-Applebee will be doing something like this next year for the fall and the spring. She may stick to a Habitat for Humanity project because, “It was a very organized progam.”
This year the process went as followed: Whoever was interested had to sign up and get their money in first. The first 10 people that did both were asked to go on the trip. The cost was $260 per person. Due to fund raising, the students were able to knock $60 off the cost of the trip.
“Most people went and wanted to go without any knowledge of what was going to happen,” Vonniessen-Applebee said. “It is nice to see how much dedication Quinnipiac students have.”