Spring breakers build home for needy

Published: Mar. 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2012 at 10:39 PM EST
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More than a dozen college students are enjoying a working vacation in south Georgia.

Instead of spending their spring break lying on a beach, 17 students from Penn State University are building homes near Lake Blackshear with the Flint River Fuller Center for Housing. The students traded in their bikinis and board shorts for hammers and nails.

They not only drove hundreds of miles to be here, but they paid for the opportunity to build homes for deserving families. These college students are spending their Spring Break in an unconventional way.

"Yesterday we did some bracing on the house, I know the boys are doing the roofing, we put in the window and doors yesterday," says Kathleen Prilutski\Penn State Sophomore.

The 17 students from Penn State passed up the beach for the opportunity to help a deserving south Georgia family.

"We are so blessed with so many other things, we are allowed to go to school, to do so many different things, so it is nice to give back to people who are not as fortunate as us," says Prilutski.

This will be the first Fuller Center home in Warwick. The organization is similar to Habitat for Humanity. "Most people won't give up their enjoyment time to come help somebody else," says Walter Vinson\Home Recipient. Walter Vinson and his wife will move into the home when it is complete.

"The house is not free, they pay for the house, but it is a non interest loan over 25 years," says Jake Bowen\Flint River Fuller Center at Lake Blackshear Chairman.

The foundation has given the Vinson family the opportunity to own their first home, which otherwise would not be possible.

"I am overwhelmed sometime I don't know what to say," says Vinson. Vinson is on disability after having problems with his spine.

"You know what you are doing it for, and it just puts everything into perspective," says Prilutski. While the students are helping the Vinson family a home, they also have other plans while in South Georgia. "We want to try to find an alligator," says Prilutski.

Eating some boiled peanuts is another thing on their to-do list.

The project is dedicated to Wendy Martin who worked at the Albany Chamber of Commerce before she died this year.

Wendy and her husband Roy were part of the original group that formed the Flint River Fuller Center at Lake Blackshear in 2008.

The group Connecting the Dots is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Wendy Martin Legacy Build at Merry Acres on April 26th.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.