For more than 10 years, a group of Dominican College students have passed up on the traditional Spring Break and instead volunteered to work with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for families in need of decent, affordable housing.
This year, 31 students and four administrators traveled to the Florida communities of Flagler Beach and Bunnell to participate in the week-long Alternative Spring Break Program. Melissa Leigh Grau, Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development, said the group worked on four different homes – all in different stages of construction.
“The houses they are building are going to members in the community who are trying to break out of the cycle of poverty, “ Grau said. “We actually get to meet the people who will be living in the houses we are working on.” That’s because the homeowners are required to put in “sweat equity” by working alongside others on the home. In addition, they must pay a zero percent mortgage on the property.
Grau said freshman through seniors participate in the trip, and many have returned year after year. The students traveled by train this year, leaving for Florida on Saturday, February 24 and returning Sunday, March 4.