Every March, a caravan of minivans leaves the cold, grey hills of Pittsburgh and travels south to build houses with Habitat for Humanity over spring break. This week of service is part of Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge program, which challenges college students to work directly with Habitat affiliates to further our vision of a world in which everyone has a simple, decent place to live.
Collegiate Challenge 2016 in Marianna, FL. This house started as a foundation, and in 5 days we framed the rest of the walls, hung sheeting, set roof trusses, and covered the roof.
Our Collegiate Challenge trips typically consist of 5-6 hour days on the build site, where we frame and raise the walls, install windows and doors, raise the roof trusses and shingle the roof, among dozens of other small and large jobs--whatever’s needed to make the house complete. It’s a great chance for all of us to learn new skills--whether it’s simply hammering a nail for the first time or framing an entire wall of the house.
Raising the walls is a team effort! This was the first wall we raised on the home we built in Florida in 2016.
We frequently work alongside the future homeowners, who are required to put at least 300 hours of “sweat equity” into their new homes, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with them. Hearing their stories is very inspiring, and it always energizes our members to continue supporting the cause of affordable housing long after we’ve returned to campus.
Working alongside future Habitat homeowners is one of the best parts of Collegiate Challenge!
As President Jimmy Carter said,
“Habitat gives us an opportunity which is very difficult to find: to reach out and work side by side with those who never have had a decent home—but work with them on a completely equal basis. It’s not a big-shot, little-shot relationship. It’s a sense of equality.”
We are asking for your support to help our group of 45 students travel to Birmingham, Alabama to serve with Habitat for Humanity over our spring break. We hope to substantially reduce the cost of the trip so that everyone who wants to attend the trip is able to do so, regardless of their financial situation. Your generous donation to our campaign will help cover:
Minivan rental to travel from Pittsburgh to Florida
Local housing accommodations
Supplies and safety equipment used on the build site
Every little bit helps, and we are very thankful for your generous support. We look forward to updating you with stories and pictures from our week of service and God bless!
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.