One last update…we completed our trip to Birmingham, Alabama! Everyone had a great time working with the community and the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, which was all made possible because of YOU!
Most of our work this year focused on various roofing, siding, and painting projects throughout the outskirts of Birmingham. Additionally, we were even able to take a day to go on an excursion to a watering hole, which was so much fun as well. Below are some pictures from the trip, we hope you enjoy them.
Thank you again for all your help during our campaign. You are the best!
-Panther Habitat for Humanity
Our EngagePitt fundraiser is now complete! Thank you to everyone who helped us raise $6,002 over this past month for our Spring Break Trip to Birmingham! Your kindness and generosity will not be forgotten.
With these donations, we are going to cover the transportation down to Alabama, food while we are there, cost to participate in the trip, and supplies for the house. This trip starts on March 4, and we will get back on March 12, so we will be on the road soon!
Habitat’s founder, Millard Fuller, once said “For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for another.” Thank you for being a part of our community and allowing us to start building another!
Panther Habitat for Humanity.
Panther Habitat for Humanity Supporters,
My name is Natalie Greenlee and I am a first-year engineer at the University of Pittsburgh. I have participated in three similar Habitat trips in high school and they were the best part of my summers, so I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue serving with Pitt.
Over the years, I have helped build different sections of houses, including the foundation, walls, siding, and roofing, but I am especially excited for the Birmingham trip because I will finally get to work on one house from start to finish. The work is very physically challenging, but the support from peers, site managers, and partner families will motivate me to be an effective team member.
Your continued support is greatly appreciated because it provides a life-changing experience for students like me, and forever-homes for wonderful families. Thank you!
University of Pittsburgh SSOE
Wow, we are so incredibly happy and grateful for your extreme generosity; it means the world to us! With your help, we have reached our second goal of $5,000 with 8 days to spare! This will bring the final deposit for all our volunteers down to $20-$30 a person, which is amazing.
Your help has made us even more excited about the trip and about the affordable housing crisis which we are trying to combat. We all wish we could hop in our minivan caravan tomorrow and start working on this house! Thank you so much for all of your help. We cannot stress how much you have helped not only our cause as volunteers, but also that of Habitat for Humanity which we all believe is a truly inspirational organization.
The Panther Habitat for Humanity Spring Break Team
Hello! My name is Savannah Garber. I’m currently serving as Panther Habitat’s Secretary. I am a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, studying Applied Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education. I am from a small town in Southern Maryland, about an hour south of D.C. I came to Pitt for the education program and for all the diverse opportunities it had. Upon coming to Pitt, I knew I wanted to be a part of Habitat for Humanity and signed up at the first activities fair. I had done a lot of volunteering and building in the past with mission trips and stagecraft courses.
Over my first semester, I didn’t get too involved with Habitat. I went to one workday and most of the meetings, but it wasn’t until spring break that I really fell in love. I knew I wanted to go on the spring break trip. I wanted to do something productive with my spring break, while also meeting new people and exploring a new part of the country. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous when the trip came around, I only knew a few people briefly, but when I showed up that morning, I found that my fears were completely irrational. I was taken under people’s wings and invited to ride with them in their van. We had a great time and it was a great start to the trip. Over the rest of the week, I met so many more amazing people, got to work side by side with inspirational home-owners, and ate some spectacular food. This spring break trip completely turned my freshmen year around. I had been really struggling with adjusting and meeting the right kinds of people at Pitt, and even considered transferring closer to home. This trip gave me the first place I felt where I belonged at Pitt.
Habitat has continued to be a place of comfort for me. The people involved are some of the best people I have ever met. I have loved being a part of Habitat’s other events and having the opportunity to make a visible difference in the Pittsburgh community. Habitat will always hold a special place in my heart. Growing up, my own family experienced a great deal of financial and housing instability. Being involved in Habitat has given me the opportunity to give someone the security of having a roof over their head, an indescribable feeling. My community has always been there for me, now I have a chance to be there for someone else.
Thank you so much for considering supporting our trip to Birmingham, AL. Habitat has changed my life and improved my college experience. With your support, we’ll be able to give another family a home and more members of the Pitt community the experience of a lifetime.
Thank you so much to everyone that helped us reach our $3,000 goal, it means so much to all of us here at Panther Habitat for Humanity! You all have truly inspired us and you are helping to make this trip so much more affordable. Our trip would not have been possible without your generosity.
Since we have exceeded our fundraising goal already with almost two weeks left to go on the campaign, we have decided to increase our goal to $5,000! If we reach this new goal, the final participant cost of the trip will only be about $20-$30 per person, which is amazing!
If you were wondering a little bit about the cost breakdown, the first $3,000 raised was approximately the cost for travel (renting vans, gas, and rent for an overnight rest stop half way between Pittsburgh and Birmingham). The next $2,000 will help cover the cost of the rest of the trip, including food, general program expenses, and tools/supplies for the work site.
Again, thank you all so much for your help. Your support means the world to all of us preparing for the Collegiate Challenge!
- The Panther Habitat for Humanity Team
My name is Mike Reynolds and I am continuing our weekly series of updates! I am going to tell you a little about myself and why I got into Habitat. I grew up in a small town in Eastern Pennsylvania in Schuylkill County (try pronouncing that!) and went to Blue Mountain High School. I decided to come to Pittsburgh because of all the opportunities this city and this school had to offer. While I knew I wanted to study biology when I came to school, it took me a little bit of time before I settled on studying microbiology. If all goes well, I’ll be graduating with that degree this coming April.
I discovered Habitat during my sophomore year here at Pitt at the urging of my brother, who was already in the club. There’s something about being able to volunteer the way Habitat allows, something that is so soothing and rewarding about learning real life skills as well as being able to help someone in need. I fell in love immediately. My very first workday we went to a home where we were putting a roof on a rehabbed house. It was a beautiful day in September and it was such a welcome change of pace from schoolwork. Suddenly I was outside with new friends working to make someone’s day a little brighter. I got to learn how to repair a roof and got to appreciate what it meant to have always had one over my head.
Spring breaks have been important for our club because they act as this supercharged experience of everything that is great about Habitat. This year will be my third trip and, sadly, my last while at Pitt. Spring break to me is a chance to spend a week that I would otherwise spend sleeping too late to really make a difference. Every year there are new people who go down with us who may not really be too involved during the school year and this gives everyone a chance to get to know each other. I can say that I would not be the same person I am today if I didn’t have these experiences. I look forward to this year’s trip more and more each passing day, especially on cold snowy days like today, and I can’t wait to get started again this upcoming March.
Thank you all so much for your support of our club and our trip, it really means so much to all of us.
This is the first in a weekly series of updates to help all of you learn about a little bit more about the people that are participating in the Collegiate Challenge. Some of you may have seen my biography on the home page, but I wanted to share a little more about myself with you. I grew up in Newtown, PA which is about 30 minutes northeast of Philly and went to high school in Lawrence, NJ which is near Trenton. High school is where I first had experience with Habitat, and I knew from that experience I wanted to continue working with the organization going into college.
Spring breaks have been a huge part of my life over my college career. I would not be the same person I am today if I didn’t sign up last minute to go on this spring break trip my freshman year to Columbus, GA. I came into college having no idea how to build a wall on my own or put up trusses on a roof; I was basically clueless about how to build a house. Going on these spring break trips have taught me so much about building a house and more. They have taught me that communities will come together for a good cause, a bunch of college students that know very little about construction can build a sweet house in 5 days, and most importantly, food in the south is SO much better than in the north. Additionally, on spring break we get to work with the homeowners themselves, which is amazing. You have the privilege to learn a unique story from each of them, and every time I go I am in awe by how strong these people are. Spending time hanging out with people outside of the work day either playing cards, sports, or just sitting around to have a conversation all play a part into the experience as well. For all these reasons, the trip is almost addicting and I expect this year to be the same.
Since I will be graduating in December, this will be my last trip which is definitely a bittersweet moment. Although I wish I could go on it again after this year, I am happy that others are going to get the opportunity to go on the trip because it is life-changing. Habitat is truly a great organization and one that I hope to work with more after I leave college. If any of you every have the opportunity to work with them, I would highly encourage you to go to it and predict that you will fall in love with it. I hope you were able to learn a little bit more about me and Habitat, and stay tuned for next week when a student going on their third spring break will talk a little bit about their experience with Habitat.
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.
Plywood makes up the skin of a building. Without this the house would be left vulnerable to the elements. Help us to turn a structure of studs into something that can be habitable.
All kinds of different tools are necessary for the construction of a Habitat Home and tool belts allow us to keep everything on our person. When we can have everything we need on us we can work more efficiently and safely.
Safety is the most important thing on any work site. Hard hats, gloves, and eye protection are only a few of things that we need to do our job effectively.
Power tools make the time on the work site more streamline and time efficient. Power tools such as circular saws, miter saws, and pneumatic nail guns are some of the tools we will utilize on the job site.
Our members have already put down an initial $150 for this trip. This donation will allow for one students additional costs be covered in full!
We need lumber to build sturdy walls and we need sturdy walls to build a sturdy home. Lumber is important so we can build the best house that we can.
Homes need doors and windows to let in light and let the family come and go. A house isn't a home without these basic living functions of the structure.
Roofs are what keep the elements outside and keep a house livable, without it there would be nothing to keep the rain out. Help us keep the home we build dry.
Birmingham is a long ways away from Pittsburgh and we need to rent vehicles to get there. If we can't travel down to our work site we can't begin construction.