The following is a spring break story from one of the SLVC’s PR interns, Leah Coiro, about how she spent her spring break serving the community of Alamosa, Colorado with Habitat for Humanity.
For my last spring break, I really wanted to do something significant.
I’ve been involved with Campus Crusade for Christ since my first week on campus, and usually we go on some sort of service trip for spring break. This year, though, they decided to do a four-day girls’ hang out in Austin instead. Although this sounded like fun , the idea of doing something that would benefit others and society was still more appealing, although it seemed unlikely to happen.
Fortunately, my friend Tazia had a friend involved with Habitat for Humanity. It turns out that two people had paid their deposits and then were unable to go, so they needed to fill those spots. So four days before we were set to leave, I decided to go on an eight-day long trip with six people I did not know.
It was one of the best times of my life.
Saturday morning of spring break we loaded into two mini vans. At the house of the former adviser, we realize he’s lost the key to his van. We search for an hour and a half through his grass, bushes, house, etc. looking for the blasted key and wondering how it could have possibly fallen off of the key ring. At this point, I look at the fob (electronic door opener for the van) and realize the end comes to an odd shape. I decide to try it in the van, and it turns on. We’d had the key the whole time. Awesome.
We finally get to Alamosa, Colorado, spend some time acclimatizing to the high altitude, and start work on Monday on the house.
The house we worked on was already up, missing the wiring, insulation, etc. and with skeleton walls. We helped put concrete in the bathroom for them to tile over later, built framing for the next house to be built, insulated, painted a shed (LOTS of painting!), and built a gazebo outside a greenhouse down the street. The gazebo involved digging holes, mixing concrete, placing posts, using power drills to put wood together, etc.
This trip definitely helped me overcome my fear of power tools. I used approximately three different kinds of saws and countless power drills and climbed about four ladders.
The house we worked on is for a young family: mom, dad, four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. The mom came to the work site daily to deliver baked goods and talk to us while we helped work on her house. She was so grateful it was crazy, even though it seemed to me that our contribution would only be a very small part of the finished product. Regardless, she treated each person working on her house like a friend, and brought each of us personalized thank you cards with pictures of our team and her family. This woman will likely have hundreds of people remembering her hospitality. She welcomed us to her home with such enthusiasm, and her home wasn’t even built yet.
The eight of us on the trip really bonded. I know that happens on these types of trips, ideally it should, but I feel like we all became friends.
We got sunburned one day and were in the snow the next. We worked and played. This was one of the best spring breaks I’ve had, and it was the perfect way to spend my last one. I’ll never forget it.
I encourage anyone reading this to volunteer. It will be an unforgettable way to spend your time, and there is nothing in the world like the feeling of knowing that someone else’s life is better because of something you’ve done. If life ever offers you an opportunity to jump in a van with a bunch of strangers, go to a place you’ve never been, and perform some manual labor, by all means do it! Life is an adventure. Unless these people are creepers offering free candy, then please don’t go. 🙂
– Leah –