Wednesday, July 25, 2012
A group of 16 high school students from across the country volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Georgetown County to build a home for Connie and Lamont Greene and their four children.
Students came from California, Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, Nebraska and Virginia.
The “Learn and Build Experience” program provides teenagers from ages 16 to 18 to get involved with Habitat’s mission for ending substandard housing through 10 days of building and learning about poverty housing.
Habitat for Humanity Georgetown was selected to be one of only three Habitat affiliates in the United States to host a Learn and Build Experience group.
“We are thrilled to have been chosen to host this group of young people. It is a testament to our staff, volunteers, and everyone in the community who supports Habitat’s efforts throughout the year,” said Executive Director Annette Perreault.
Volunteer coordinator for Habitat, Ophelia Snow Kelly said it’s a new program for Habitat and she made sure that the youth engaged in other activities and planning.
Cyrus Weigand — one of the youth coordinators — said this is many of the youth’s first time meeting families and staying at the volunteer house on Congdon Street where the volunteers resided.
“One of the challenges we faced was the heat, but what made the difference was the hospitality. The affiliates of Habitat made the visit very pleasant and we have lasting memories,” added Weigand.
The students worked on the project from July 1 to 10 with temperatures sometimes reaching 99 degrees with a heat index of 104.
Annette Perreault was impressed with the youth braving the temperatures and how they persevered to continue building the home for the Greene family.
During the course of the trip, the group has also built friendships and hope, said Cody Logsdon, Habitat International’s Youth Programs Manager.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for young people to contribute to Habitat’s mission, to better understand housing issues in communities across the United States, and to see the real impact they can make.”
Major support for Habitat’s Learn and Build Experience comes from the Seeding Foundation.
By Rounette Johnson
For The Times