Although their campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to support Panther Habitat For Humanity, you may always do so here.

Panther Habitat for Humanity: Spring Break 2020

Raised toward our $4,000 Goal
65 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 16, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Final Habi-fact Friday!

February 14, 2020

Hi everyone! Back at you with our last habi-fact of the campaign!


Did you know that within Habitat's first three years as an organization, its volunteers built over 120 houses?


Thank you so much for all of your support throughout our campaign!


Testimonial Tuesday: Nicole Lemongelli, Advocacy Chair

February 11, 2020

I had always heard things about Habitat growing up, but to be completely honest, I did not really understand what exactly Habitat was all about. I had the general idea that they built houses, but I was never completely sure who for or really for what reason. Around 3-4 years ago, my brother’s girlfriend was raving about this collegiate challenge she was doing at Saint Joseph’s university, I believe she was going somewhere in Ohio for her trip. Out of curiosity I asked her about more of the details of the trip, and she explained to me pretty much the entire idea of the collegiate challenge, which was indeed through Habitat for Humanity.


A few years later, once I got to college, I knew I wanted to get involved in service just because that was always something I was interested in. I saw Habitat tabling in towers, and I remembered everything my brother’s girlfriend had told me in the past. After my first meeting with the club, I knew this was something I was extremely interested in. I went on a few work-days fall semester, but it wasn’t until the spring break trip last year collegiate challenge to be exact, that my love for the club grew even stronger. The people on the trip have since turned into some of my closest friends, and the overall experience changed everything I ever thought about Habitat for the better. I learned so much about the Habitat for Humanity organization, and even better, made long lasting relationships with the people who, at the time, were just members of a club I was in. Being a part of Habitat for Humanity has truly changed my college experience for nothing but the better, and I couldn’t be more thankful that I took a flyer from the table that day.


Week 5 Update

February 10, 2020

Hi everyone! We’re rounding out Week 5 of our campaign and we’ve raised 88% of our goal! Thank you so much for all of your support. We have one week left and only $475 left to reach our goal, so please share our campaign and help us build homes in Fort Lauderdale for those in need! It’s the home stretch!

Habi-Fact Friday!

February 07, 2020

Hi everyone, and welcome to another Habi-Fact Friday!


Today’s fact: The first Habitat for Humanity International volunteer joined on April 1st, 1977. He continued to serve with Habitat for 35 years. He now lives in Guatemala, where he plans to continue his involvement with Habitat Guatemala and with a local ministry providing care for homeless children.


Thank you for all your support as we head into the home stretch!


Testimonial Tuesday: Bobby Caffrey, Secretary

February 04, 2020

I remember back in the Fall of 2018, I had decided to join Habitat for Humanity on a whim, solely because I thought construction and demolition (mainly the demolition) would be fun. I had no idea how much this club would change me as an individual and how crucial it would be to my college experience. At the time, I was not active in any campus clubs outside of a club dedicated to my intended career path. I was nervous to get involved on campus, and more so with a club where I didn’t know anybody. For the first meeting, I had to drag my roommate with me in order to feel comfortable attending, but what became apparent from the very beginning was that this club offered something special that I hadn’t found at any other club’s interest meeting.


The club was not overly large or intimidating like I had expected, but rather full of caring and encouraging individuals with a shared love for volunteering. At no point did I feel like I couldn’t make a difference within the club or that my voice was not being heard. In many ways, I have still not found another volunteering club as active within the Pittsburgh community as Habitat. With the weekly volunteering opportunities and constant awareness events, there is always a way for Pitt students to get involved with the surrounding community.


To this day, I can still remember my first workday. I was stripping paint off a porch and then repainting it. The work was small in the grand scheme of things, but while I scraped away at the paint, I was able to meet the family who called the place home. They were so thankful that I was willing to offer my time, and they even gave me some insight into their lives. What I came to find was, in many ways, they lived a hard life full of adversity, yet they carried a certain happiness that overshadowed their troubles. To them, having others help in their time of need showed they were cared for and being looked after. Even an act as small as the restoration of the paint on their porch was enough to make them feel appreciated. The fact that a stranger was willing to give them their time and ask for nothing in return was a true test of community and humanity. Never have I seen people more willing to give everything they can (even if it is just their time) to people whom they don't even know than those who volunteer with Habitat (both the affiliates, as well as the students). As a volunteer, I'm not being paid, yet my services are not being given up entirely for free. I am learning valuable skills and gaining experiences that no college classroom could ever even hope to give me. For these reasons, I have and will always consider Habitat to be a vital part of my time at Pitt.


Week 4 Update

February 03, 2020

Hi everyone! Week 4 of Engage and we’ve raised $2,500 of our $4,000 goal, which is incredible progress. With just 13 days left we’re down to the wire, so please keep sharing our page to help us raise the rest of the money we need!

Habitminute Friday

January 31, 2020

Welcome back to Habiminute Friday! We’re closing out week four of our EngagePitt campaign, and we’ve got a habifact for you:


Habitat for Humanity has affiliates working in over 70 countries!


Thank you for your support, and stay tuned next week for another habifact!

Testimonial Tuesday: Cecelia Hembrough, Spring Break Chair

January 28, 2020

When I was growing up, my mom was heavily involved in Habitat for Humanity through our church. I vividly remember her leaving for a week every summer to go to Garrett County, Maryland and work on a Habitat neighborhood near Deep Creek Lake. She would always come home with stories of friendships made, inside jokes, cuts and bruises, and pictures of the houses that they had worked on. I was used to watching her be handy around our own house, but I loved hearing about how she put all the siding on a house, laid a floor, painted a room, or shingled a roof for a family in need. Even more so, I loved hearing her recount getting to build with the family who would be receiving the house and getting to hear their stories: a grandma who was so excited to have a front porch to read to her grandchildren on, a mom excited to have a backyard for her kids to play in. I knew that as soon as I was old enough, I wanted to go on a Habitat for Humanity trip, too.


When I turned 14, I finally got to go, and I absolutely loved it: the physical effort of building, the exhaustion at the end of each day, knowing that I was making a small difference in someone else’s life, even if all I was doing was painting trim, or planting flowers, or digging holes for a porch. When I got to Pitt and went to the activities fair as a freshman, I was immediately drawn to the Panther Habitat booth, and I am so glad I signed up for that email list. I went on a few workdays as a freshman, but I became much more heavily involved during my sophomore year, and what I began to get out of the club was much more than I could’ve expected. Not only did I get to work hard and help others in need, I got a group of friends who saw the importance of those things, too. I got a group of friends that enabled me to work past my anxiety and go on my first spring break trip last year, which absolutely changed my life. I had a place to work hard, to laugh, and to make a difference in the world with some of the best people.


Now that I’ve been in the club for two years and have found my place here, I get to help foster a community that will enable others to find their place here - to feel the pride in building, the love of the people around them, and the silliness of hours upon hours in a minivan on the way to Florida. I build because it fosters community: both the community that we’re physically building, as well as the community amongst all of us in the club. I can’t wait to see the communities we are able to build this spring in Fort Lauderdale and beyond.


Week 3 Update

January 27, 2020

Hi Everyone! Three weeks into our campaign, we’ve raised over $1,500! We are very proud of the progress we are making, but we still have a long way to go until we reach our goal. So please keep spreading the word!

Habiminute Friday

January 24, 2020

Welcome back to Habiminute Friday! We’re closing out week 3 of our EngagePitt campaign and we’ve got a habifact for you:


Habitat for Humanity raised the walls on the first house after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.


Stay tuned next week for another habifact!

Weekend Update & Testimonial Tuesday: Elizabeth Crinzi, President

January 21, 2020

Hi everyone! We’re two weeks into our campaign and we are pleased to say that we’ve already raised 31% of our goal! Thank you so much to those who donated. We still have 26 days to go and much more money to raise, so please help us by sharing our page and getting us closer to our goal!



Testimonial: Elizabeth Crinzi, President:

Throughout my time at Pitt, I have been increasingly more involved with Panther Habitat for Humanity. I have held various positions on the board, but this year, as President, service is more meaningful to me than ever. Service is an important and humbling experience that has developed my sense of leadership, teamwork, and empathy. One of the biggest reasons why I build with Habitat and why I continue to serve is that it gives me opportunities to meet inspirational and genuine people; I have always loved the way serving with Habitat inspires new friendships. Most people that join our club, including myself, have no prior knowledge of construction, and having an outlet away from campus involving manual labor that requires an entirely different skill set than academia is both enriching and rewarding. Though I have not had the chance to meet every homeowner whose house I have personally worked on, I have always believed that by working with a group of volunteers, the result will be a house that inspires future generations to put their energy back into their communities. Service has also built up my confidence in problem solving and given me opportunities across the nation to aid in the housing crisis. It has enriched my time at Pitt by allowing me to leave a legacy, not just within Panther Habitat, but in the houses that I have helped build and in making a difference throughout the city. This upcoming spring break trip to Fort Lauderdale will be my fourth and final Panther Habitat trip, and I’m more excited than ever to build, spend time on the beach, and watch friendships form among new members that will last throughout the rest of their time at Pitt and shape the club after my class and I are gone. I’m deeply grateful for all of the support over the past four years, and I hope that the generosity I’ve witnessed within this organization continues.

Habiminute Friday

January 17, 2020

Welcome back to Habiminute Friday! We’re closing out week 2 of our Engage campaign and we’ve got a habi-fact for you:  


Did you know that Habitat for Humanity is active in over 70 countries (and all 50 states)? Including Haiti, Honduras, Tanzania, Romania, Bulgaria, and Indonesia.


Stay tuned next week for another habifact!


Testimonial Tuesday: Jon Kunitsky, Spring Break Chair

January 14, 2020

I first became aware of Habitat for Humanity when I was a sophomore at Pitt. My older brother was a member at the time. He brought me to a meeting and I immediately felt welcomed into the club and went on my first work day that weekend. I was unfamiliar with hanging drywall or shingling, but I slowly became accustomed to the work and began to fall in love with the impact I was making in the Pittsburgh community.


After a few more work days and an inspiring trip to Winston-Salem, NC, Panther Habitat has become a place of refuge for me. I never thought I’d enjoy putting up drywall, climbing a roof, or nailing down shingles. But I do. Because I see how the dirt, sweat, and early mornings bring to life the spirit in us. It feels good to do good. We don’t often meet the families we help, and I know my impact alone is microscopic. But I build anyway because when I’m on that roof, in that house cutting drywall, outside sawing 2x4’s, I look around and see a team of passionate individuals who have come together to try to make a change, working for a cause larger than any one of us. I see a beautiful expression of care and compassion in a world that is callous and self-absorbed. It lifts up my heart to know there are loving souls like this out there in the world, toiling away for what seems like nothing, with the conviction that they can transform a community, a home, a family’s life, if only they give a little bit of their time and energy on a weekend, or for a week in March. This belief in a common cause binds us. And I see this bond at every meeting, on every workday I attend, during social events and in passing. It is what has helped me become who I am today, having been given so much in return: friends, purpose, acceptance, healing.


This is my second year volunteering in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I cannot wait to see what we'll be helping with this time around.

Weekend Update #1

January 13, 2020

Hi everyone, happy Monday!


We’re less than a week into our campaign and we’ve already raised 14% of our goal! Thank you so much for all of your support to help us travel to Fort Lauderdale and continue work on the neighborhood that we helped start last spring break.

Habiminute Friday

January 10, 2020

Welcome to the first Habiminute Friday of our Engage Campaign! Every Friday we’re going to share a fun fact about Habitat for Humanity from our Education Chair Erin!


Fun fact: Habitat volunteers work closely with the future homeowners, who are required to put in approximately 500 hours of "sweat equity" of work on their home or others. Thus, volunteers can put a face with the future home and see the difference they are making in someone’s life.


Stay tuned for more habi-facts and fun updates throughout the campaign!

Choose a giving level


Box of Nails

Nails are vital for the structural integrity of the house. They attach pieces of lumber to form walls and hold the trusses together to make the roof. Every nail is important and without nails, the house would fall apart.


Tool Belts

Tools such as hammers, tape measures, pencils, pry bars, chalk lines, and knives are essential for building a Habitat Home. Tool belts help to keep all of these tools together with each of the builders so they can make progress on the construction without having to stop and locate a tool.


Circular Saw

The circular saw is an important tool on the build site. Particle board and lumber needs to be cut to the correct size so all the components of the house fit together correctly without any gaps or overhangs.


Safety Equipment

The safety of the builders is one of the most important factors on the build site. Safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, and hard hats are imperative in keeping the volunteers safe.


One Volunteer

Habitat relies heavily on volunteers on not only building the actual house, but also for food and drink donations, and supply donation. This donation pays for the cost of a volunteer through a Collegiate Challenge Trip.



Lumber is the skeleton that holds the house together. Without a sturdy frame, the walls and roof would collapse upon their own weight. Lumber is essential for maintaining structural integrity of the house.


Doors and Windows

A house needs doors and windows to be livable. The home owner needs to be able to enter and leave the building and enjoy sunlight while inside. These amenities are essential for every house we build.



A roof is important to keep out the rain and snow and provide shade from the sun. Every house needs a roof made of trusses, particle board, tar paper, and of course shingles.

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