On a rainy morning at 5:30am, fourteen University of Louisville students departed campus for a week-long Collegiate Challenge service trip during spring break. The UofL Habitat for Humanity campus chapter received a generous $5000 donation for the trip from Barnes & Noble College for winning the #BNCInstaBuild Instagram video contest during the Fall semester. This included a gigantic check, so the group naturally took numerous photos with the check throughout the week.
The UofL crew worked with Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, FL for the week. They stayed in their Domestic Global Villages facility (complete with a room full of sunscreen and aloe vera), along with students from The Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, and AmeriCorps NCCC members. After a relaxing trip to the beach, the UofL group buckled down and got to work on a home in the community from 8am to 3pm each day. After each workday, the group had the opportunity to explore Florida and the community in which they served. With the guidance of local, more experienced volunteers, the UofL crew put up all of the siding, painted the house (UK blue, no less), and made finishing touches to the flooring in just four days. According to one of the participants, Bryson Clifford, “it was cool to have the older gentlemen as mentors and take in their perspectives.” The home will belong to a family of a deceased military veteran. Wesley Turner felt that “knowing who we are helping inspired [us] to do more and [will inspire] the community to do more.”
Through the course of the week, the UofL group bonded and created lasting friendships among each other. While they lost the intercollegiate volleyball tournament, the UofL Collegiate Challenge group had a great time meeting students from other colleges who shared a strong commitment to serving their community. All of the UofL participants walked away from the week exhausted, uplifted, and ready to do it all again!
Written by Guest Blogger, Kelsey V. of the University of Louisville
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