Although this campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to support Pitt-Greensburg Habitat for Humanity, you may always do so here.
Last week was quite an experience for our group. In a snapshot, here is what we did:
Spent 10 days and 9 nights together as a family of 22.
Completed a round trip involving more than 2,200 miles of driving.
Visited two major cities – Nashville and New Orleans.
Performed a collective 660 hours of service while working on the construction of 4 homes with St. Tammany West Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana.
For me, it was my 13th Habitat for Humanity alternative spring break trip as the advisor of Pitt-Greensburg HFH. Given all that has been happening surrounding the Coronavirus, this trip was special for many reasons. While on the trip, our group learned of Pitt’s decision to suspend all in-person classes and ask students to move out of the residence halls. To say that the news hit hard is the understatement of the year.
We had 22 people on this year’s trip – including 18 students, 2 staff members and 2 alumni. Last week, I watched this group become a family. We laughed and cried together. We shared meals together; slept in the same bedrooms together, sang songs together on our long van rides. And, most importantly, we worked together to make progress on a series of 4 Habitat homes.
There were numerous projects occurring throughout the week, and everyone played different roles. Everything culminated with the group helping to raise the trusses on the 4th home on our final day of work. I took great pleasure in watching so many students learn new skills and try new things on the work site.
As you might imagine, we took a ton of photos; and I hope you’ll check some of them out at this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/riqAzLiEjYYNPoWR9.
We thank you all for your support, whether it was financial or otherwise. It was quite a memorable trip; and I trust that it will go down as the experience of a lifetime for the students who attended. Please know that your thoughts, contributions and assistance went to a great cause and impacted some of the most selfless students I know.
The Pitt-Greenburg Habitat campus chapter returned home to Greensburg Sunday. Last week, one of our trip attendees drafted this reflection on her work day.
My name is Maggie Titus and I am a sophomore biology major with a criminal justice minor. In the future, I plan to work for the National Park Service or become a conservation officer. While I have participated in a few house builds in Westmoreland County and I have a lot of experience with construction from working on projects with my family, this is my first alternative spring break trip with Habitat for Humanity.
I have worked on quite a few projects so far this week. In the first day on the work site, I put up hurricane strips, which connect the trusses of the roof to the rest of the house and help add stability. I also put flashing around windows and helped add boards that would eventually support the walls. I also started a project with another student on the trip. We added blocking to a wall that would support kitchen cabinets in the future. We finished this project early in the second day on site and signed our names on the boards so we will always be a part of the home we helped to build. I then cut and measured walls for the furnace and A/C room and the attached shed and then put these walls in with the help of two other students. We will finish this project tomorrow.
So far, my favorite part of the workday has been helping people who aren’t familiar with the tools or projects and working with people who I didn’t know well before this trip. This wonderful opportunity to help the people who need it most has supplied me with so many memories already and would not be possible if people didn’t help us. The generosity of others makes a difference in the lives of the future homeowners and I hope this trip continues in the future.
Hello! My name is John Kerlicker. I’m a junior secondary education-biology major; and this is my first Habitat spring break trip.
After a few days of travel, I’m very happy to provide you with an update about happenings on our Habitat trip so far this year. After exploring Nashville and New Orleans the first few days, today marked the start of our work week. We started our day bright and early and headed out to meet our affiliate at the Habitat ReStore here in St. Tammany West. After a morning orientation, we ventured to our work site where there were four houses in various stages of construction that we split up working on. Two of the houses were in the very early stages of being built and two houses were nearing completion. Just before lunch time, it began raining, which dampened our plans a bit, but thankfully later in the day we were about to work inside. Half of our group also went to work at the resale store in the afternoon.
After reconvening at the end of the day, everyone was able to discuss their high and low moments for the day. We’ll start with the lows first. Most people’s lows involved having to do a task they found challenging or having to do something for the first time. My personal low was hammering two nails into wooden beams, being excited that I completed the task successfully, only to discover that I had hammered them in crookedly splitting the wood on the side. After trying myself to, unsuccessfully remove the nails, my co-volunteers were able to help me fix them and salvage my low from even deeper depths. Most people’s high moments for the day involved not just successfully completing a new task, but also forming a connection with someone else in our group.
My personal high, aside from laughing consistently whilst eating lunch when everyone got together, was signing my name on the wood that I nailed in the frame of the upper part of the house. It’ll always be a cool moment for me because I’ll always be a part of this family.
First, I would like to thank you all for your donations. We have not only met, but exceeded our goal, and my group and I could not be more thankful for that. Our group is all set and ready to leave Friday, March 6th. I would just like you all to know that your donation has gone to a wonderful cause, and we are all incredibly grateful. Throughout the week, our group will provide you all with updates on how the trip is playing out. Again, thank you all so much for your donations.
Nails are some of the smallest components of the construction of a new home, yet they are the most vital in holding it together.
The roof of a home protects the family from the outdoor elements. It takes many roof shingles to protect a home.
The windows to a home allow the family to see out into the community. They also allow warmth and sunlight in while keeping the cold out.
Doors to a home provide the family with a sense of safety, security, and privacy. They allow the family to control who and what comes into the home.
Drywall and paint are what help provide a finished look to the interior of a home. It helps to create a welcoming and warm atmosphere in the home.
A home truly becomes a home once it is furnished with appliances. Appliances are often amenities that complement the home and are crucial to a family's efficiency and day-to-day living.
Siding on the outside of the home protects the home from the elements and puts a finishing touch on the home. It serves dual purposes and assures that a home will be protected for years to come.
The landscaping outside of the home helps extend a family's home into the outdoors. A yard provides a place for kids to play, and other landscaping features increase a home's curb appeal.