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Panther Habitat for Humanity: Spring Break 2018

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
50 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 15, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Final Trip Update

March 12, 2018


Thank you again for all of your contributions! Our student delegation arrived back in Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. Over the course of our week in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we worked on three different sites. We finished roofs, installed trim, and built extensions, along with many other projects. Our students had an incredible time. We worked hard during the workdays, and then treated ourselves to ice cream/donuts and other adventures in the evenings.

After three days of hard work, we took Thursday off as a free day. We spent the day hiking at Pilot Mountain State Park, exploring Old Salem, and enjoying each other’s company. We also celebrated International Women’s Day (see below for a picture of all the proud women in our group). We ended the week with another hard day of work on a rehabbed house in the area. We worked together to finish the roofs and other projects. We concluded the week with a pizza and ice cream party, where we celebrated the work we’ve accomplished over the week. We also took some time to reflect on the experience overall and the memories and relationships that developed.

Thank you again for all your support and for helping us to go on this amazing adventure! Below you’ll see pictures of our strong women builders and our entire group celebrating our final workday and Flannel Friday.

Hail to Pitt!

Savannah Garber

Spring Break Trip Update #1

March 06, 2018


My name is Savannah Garber and I serve as the President for Panther Habitat for Humanity at the University of Pittsburgh. I wanted to personally thank you again for supporting our trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Your support helped to provide us with vans, food, and supplies, and we greatly appreciate it.

Yesterday, our crew of 30 students and advisors left Pittsburgh and headed for North Carolina. After resting up, we were ready for our first day on the site! Below is a picture of our crew fueling up with some breakfast before heading off.

Our first day was full of many adventures. We completely removed a roof on a rehabbed house in the area and replaced it with new roofing tarp and shingles. We also completed various projects at the site with the local Habitat affiliates. After work, we spent some time playing games and exploring the area. We’ve loved our time thus far and can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store!

Hail to Pitt!

Savannah Garber

Campaign Completion

February 21, 2018

After 30 days, over 500 letters, and countless personal contacts, our campaign has closed!


Thank you so much to all who gave. With your help, we were able to raise a whopping $2,995!!! This is an incredible amount of money and we are so thankful for your generosity and support. Though we weren’t able to reach our goal of $5,000, your support made it possible to significantly reduce the second deposit for our spring break trip participants, allowing each person to attend who wanted to serve Habitat for Humanity in this way. Thank you for your support!


We leave for Winston-Salem in just over 2 weeks, and we look forward to keeping you updated as we labor for affordable housing in North Carolina!


Thank you!

Final Two Days!

February 13, 2018

We are building momentum! With just two days left to go we have gotten over the half way point!


Hello, all! My name is Malcolm Hoffman.  I am a junior student at Pitt, and I am the treasurer for Habitat for Humanity.  This is my second year in the club and this will be my second time going on the spring break trip. 


Before I went on the trip to Birmingham, Alabama last year, I was a relative outsider to the club.  I had been on several work days in the past, but was looking for something bigger, a larger experience and a bigger way to make an impact on the world.  I found this through our spring break trip.


After slowly opening myself up more and more throughout the week, I began to feel what it really means to be a part of an accepting and giving organization.  It was really refreshing beyond words to be able to just decompress for a whole week.  I was away from the stressors of school, and I was able to just focus on being able to serve while examining myself.


Ultimately, the spring break experience is one that defines our organization.  It is the culmination of our year’s work, and it is a time for self-reflection and giving back in the most concrete way possible: by physically building homes for those in need.  I appreciate any donations that you can contribute! Thank you so much for your support, and have a wonderful week.

Week 3!

February 06, 2018

We just passed the $2,000 mark! Thank you to all who have contributed to and supported us thus far!


Hello friends! My name is Claire Mesko and I am a sophomore here at Pitt. This is my second year in Pitt’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and I am one of the members of the club’s Fundraising Committee. I am beyond excited to be attending our spring break trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina this year!


My first trip with Habitat for Humanity was last year when our club went to Birmingham, Alabama to participate in Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge. After being inspired by the work we were able to accomplish on this trip, I proceeded to travel to Pondicherry, India to take part in a Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip. This summer, I will be joining another Global Village trip, this time traveling to Krakow, Poland.


Habitat for Humanity has been a huge support in my life for the past year. Before I went on our spring break trip to Alabama, I didn’t have many friends at college. But I met some of the most supportive, kind-hearted people through this club and I will always be grateful for that. I am proud to say that I can serve this organization.


Any support you can give towards our trip is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time!


January 30, 2018

We’ve passed the $1,000 mark! We’re so excited to continue to raise money for our trip and we thank you for your support!


My name is Kevin Finnegan and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for the Pitt Habitat for Humanity Club. Our spring break trip is the biggest event that our club undertakes and also one of my personal favorites. I am currently a senior, and have been involved in this club since my freshman year including two previous spring break trips. I went to Birmingham Alabama with the club last year and Jackson County, Florida the previous year. Both of these trips were amazing amounts of fun. While we do weekly workdays and events around our campus throughout the year, our spring break trip makes this club what it is.


This campaign is designed to allow the students of this club to participate in an eventful, fun, and worthwhile spring break trip. By supporting this trip you are giving the students of this club the opportunity to grow as people and to help the world around us.


I went to my first spring break trip only knowing one or two other people and came back with thirty new friends. Not only does this trip give us the chance to bond with each other and form new friendships, it also allows many people to step out of their comfort zone and work for the betterment of other people. The lack of affordable housing throughout this nation is staggering and with this need for housing comes those willing to help. It is our goal on these trips to work together as a group and seek to provide affordable housing to all.


Any support that you can give towards our trip will not only mean a lot to us, but also the people that we are trying to help. Thanks so much for your time and Build On!

One Week Down!

January 23, 2018

We’re one week in, and so pleased with the current progress of our campaign!


Hi, friends. I’m Katrina, a sophomore here at Pitt, one of the project leaders and the head of fundraising for Pitt Habitat for the school year 2017-2018. This campaign is something I’ve been working on for two months, and now that we’re back at school for the spring semester, the whole club was doing a crazy amount of letter stuffing leading up to the kickoff of our campaign – it has been such a delight and joy to see those efforts pay off! We’re so thankful for your support and looking forward to seeing more support come in as we seek to reach our fundraising goal and significantly reduce the cost burden on our members as we take our entire spring break and work with Habitat in Winston-Salem, NC.


As many of you know, last year our group did a similar trip and traveled to Birmingham, AL, to participate in Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge there. It was my first trip with Habitat and I can truly say it was an incredible way to spend my spring break.


I grew up in Maryland, in an extremely diverse suburb of Washington, DC. The Habitat trip last year was my first time visiting the deep South, and it was very sobering to see firsthand the remnants of relatively recent racial tension in our nation’s history. Driving through the neighborhoods in Birmingham was sociologically fascinating; within one block there would be one very nice and well-kept house, and another boarded up and completely falling apart. It was significant to me to be able to go in to a completely foreign-to-me situation and area and be able to make a visible impact on people’s lives as we did our construction work.


Your support of this campaign is making it possible for us to make a similar visible difference in Winston-Salem, NC. Of course, the timing, location, and circumstances vary, but the mission remains the same: to provide affordable, safe housing to those in need. Thank you for supporting us in this goal!


Stay tuned for further updates, and have a wonderful rest of your week! :)

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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