Students help out Habitat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students help out Habitat

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Anna Fee is a freshman at Bradley University in Illinois. Like many college freshmen, she worries about adjusting to campus life and passing her exams. But what drives her is different than what drives most college students.

"Well, I guess I have a passion for volunteering. I've volunteered my whole life," she said.

So, when her Spring Break came along, she wanted to find a way to combine travel with her passion.  While most college students envision spending their Spring Break on some beach somewhere, Anna and her friends had a different idea of what they wanted to do.

Their idea was to join a group of hundreds of students from 10 different schools who have volunteered for Flint River Habitat for Humanity over the last four weeks. Anna joined 25 other students from Bradley who made their way to Southwest Georgia. It was a long trip.

"We left Friday (March 13th) and then we drove down here straight, we didn't stop or anything; drove overnight on a bus," she said.

And while the college students made for a strong work force, Thursday they weren't alone. They received some special help from a group of students from Sherwood Acres Elementary School.

Cierra Franklin, a 5th grader said, "we are writing best of luck wishes, sayings, phrases in the houses."

With dozens of volunteers working on four homes at once, organization was important. So professional builders were on hand to help out as well. But the pros soon found themselves impressed by the work ethic of the students.

"That says a lot for young people to come, to drive 1000 miles and still want to work hard," said builder Jack Daniel Garrett.

Garrett wants to help Habitat with more projects in the future. He says the builders can provide the skills and expertise in their field.

"When you got one person that knows what they're doing they can help five or six and help them fast," he said.

For the students, helping Habitat is teaching them lessons that they can take back to their schools for the rest of the year. So, does Anna think that other students on her campus would be willing to trade in swimsuits and skis for hammers and paint brushes?

"Yeah, I think that people would be interested," she said.

So while they may not be rooms with a view; to these students, these homes are prettier than any beach or mountain anyway.

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