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College students build Valdosta community

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February 27, 2007

Valdosta - It's spring break and many college students are heading to the beach or abroad.

But some are trading their flip flops for work boots.  "We are up by 5:30 in the morning and we could be sleeping like most college kids on spring break but it's a lot of fun and we're helping out a good cause," say college Junior Lauren Brant.

It's part of the collegiate challenge, a program sponsored by habitat for humanity. 

And the students of Mercyhurst College in Erie Pennsylvania chose to raise the roofs of new homes in Valdosta.  "We are going to build three houses in three weeks thanks to college kids who give up their spring break to come here to Valdosta and South Georgia," says Stuart Mullis, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity.

But these students wouldn't have their spring break any other way.  "Once again, the sun shines, beautiful weather but we're just happy to build a house for someone who might not have," Brant says.

"The night before they left it was minus five so they are very happy to be in Valdosta and wearing sunscreen," Mullis adds.

Mercyhurst College is just one of three schools that will travel here to Valdosta over the next three weeks.  Each with a goal of building a home and building a better community.  "It says a lot about their families, their upbringing, who they are and what they want to be," Mullis says.

Students from South Carolina will be in Valdosta next week followed by students from Massachusetts a week later.

This is the fourth year the Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity has participated in the challenge.

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