Students spend spring break volunteering

Students spend spring break volunteering

Adrienne Burch

Over spring break, students from the University of Alabama and Auburn University came together to partner with Habitat for Humanity in Robertsdale, Ala., to build homes for families in need.

The University of Alabama Community Service Center offered this program, called House United, as part of its alternative breaks program. Twenty-three UA students traveled to Baldwin County to work on the weeklong project.

The students worked on two homes. One was a slab when they started, and the other had a frame and walls. They caulked the walls, put up insolation, worked on the roof and installed windows. India and Cassandra were the two homeowners. Fittingly, one was an Alabama fan and the other, an Auburn fan.

“It made me proud to know that the work we were doing will benefit not only the Robertsdale community, but India and Cassandra as well,” said Evan Blitzer, a sophomore majoring in event planning.

Paige Bussanich, an assistant student director at the CSC, said she learned that you do not have to know the people you are helping out.

“We built homes for two complete strangers who were so thankful for our help, and that is all that matters,” Bussanich said.

Bussanich said her proudest moment was when she helped put trusses on the roof. She and a group of others worked with an experienced construction worker, and when they completed the job, he told them they had done it perfectly.

“This was a proud moment for all of us,” Bussanich said. “We helped in the process of building the roof, which is a vital part of the house.”

Bussanich said Habitat for Humanity makes sure homes are built for the weather and are sustainable enough so electricity bills for the homeowner are as low as possible.

Wahnee Sherman, the director of community service at the CSC, said these volunteer trips are ways for students to connect with members of organizations in communities outside of Tuscaloosa. They are able to build and maintain lifelong relationships with the people they encounter and hopefully continue to help with similar projects in the future.

“I, along with everyone on my trip, said they would love to do this together again in the near future,” Blitzer said.

Sherman said these trips also give students an opportunity to build relationships with other students.

The CSC offers alternative beak trips during fall, winter and spring breaks. Future trips and applications will be posted on the CSC website, www.volunteer.ua.edu.