Students spend spring break building houses for Habitat


A crane swings a roof truss in place for one of four homes being built in Winston-Salem for the Habitat for Humanity 25th Anniversary Collegiate Challenge, Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014. (David Rolfe/Journal)

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem may be more than three hours from the nearest beach, but this week it is the spring break destination of choice for about 100 college students.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program, and the organization selected Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County to host the anniversary celebration.

By “celebration,” Habitat means hard work.

Students from nine colleges are dedicating their week to help build four Habitat homes in the Glenn Oaks neighborhood on Burton Street.

“I could go to the beach and have some fun, but that’s all for me,” said Bethany Rudick, a junior engineering student from Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga.

She heard about the alternative break program and knew this would give her a chance to help people.

“It’s just beautiful to watch,” Rudick said.

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About 100 students from Coe College, La Salle University, Villanova University, the University of Florida, St. John’s University, Susquehanna University, Vanderbilt University, Southern Polytechnic State University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering arrived in Winston-Salem on Sunday and will depart on Saturday.

Cody Logsdon, an associate director of volunteer programs for Habitat for Humanity International, said people tend to think that students want to go somewhere warm or exotic on their alternative break, but that’s not the driving factor. Students want to go wherever they can help the community.

“They want to come and really be utilized as volunteers,” she said.

Each year thousands of high school and college students spend their breaks volunteering for about 200 Habitat affiliates through the Collegiate Challenge program.

While many of these students volunteer for local chapters in their own communities, a service trip gives them a global perspective of Habitat’s work.

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