As is annual tradition, volunteers with the Habitat for Humanity club, here at Wilson College, went on Alternative Spring Break (ASB) March 13-19. Instead of spending the free time on vacation or catching up on sleep like most students on spring break, we went down to North Carolina to help on two build sites.
I have been volunteering with our school’s Habitat club since freshman year; this was my second ASB trip. The first year I had intended to go, but due to a broken wrist, had to opt out. Last year, Habitat went to Ohio to help with a build site, and this year, we went to NC.
In the past, another one of the ASB trips was also in NC, but this trip involved a completely new group, myself included. Specifically, we went to Winston-Salem, where our group was divided between two build sites.
The first site was helping with the roofing for a new volunteer lodge for future volunteers to stay in. Unfortunately, building took a little longer for this project than intended; otherwise as volunteers we would have experienced staying at the place ourselves. Our group ended up staying with the University of Massachusetts chapter in a children’s home, which was pretty similar to college-dorm life.
The second site was refurbishing a porch on a house for a local resident. This was a bit different due to the fact that we actually got to meet the house owner on this site, which is always a great experience. The owner of the house was extremely thankful, and even gave us hugs as a thank you for the hard work.
The experience for me personally was a bit of a rough one, due to the fact that I started feeling sick on our first work day. I also had to make a visit to the emergency room, but that is another story for another time. Throughout the rest of the week, I wasn’t much better, but I persevered through three of the work days, out of the four total. I’m beginning to think maybe I’m cursed when trying to go on these trips, first with the broken arm freshman year and then getting sick this year.
I hope to volunteer again next year, and hopefully the falling-ill streak is over. Despite being sick, it was still a rewarding experience where memories were made. It was a very fulfilling way to spend spring break.