At the end of the second build day for Habitat for Humanity in Houston, Texas, a handful of Concordia students are showing school spirit with maroon tinted skin under their Cobber themed t-shirts. For one unfortunate student, the kiss from the southern sun became less desirable after he discovered white blotches on his sunburned arms – reminders of the mud he worked in earlier.
The group of 20 exploded onto the Habitat build site at 8 a.m. Monday morning, ready to dive in and work hard. They found thirteen houses within a designated Habitat neighborhood in various stages of construction and plenty of piles of garbage and wood scraps around the homes that needed attention. They filled a massive garbage container to the brim in just a matter of hours.
“You take 20 people from completely different backgrounds and you put them to do service work and they become like family in a day. How does that happen? We all have different life experiences and different backgrounds, but we bonded right away,” says LaCresia King, one of the group’s three student leaders.
Monday afternoon and Tuesday brought cleaning, plenty of sweeping, caulking, painting trim, and the use of the nail gun, which was a crowd favorite.
“It’s made cleaning fun – who makes sweeping driveways fun? These people,” says Kaitlin Pierce, a student leader on the trip.
Nights are filled with the group getting to know each other through games like Catch Phrase and Apples to Apples, which always leads to roaring laughter. It’s only been a few days, but the group members have bonded quickly. Each evening includes reflections on the day, including accomplishments, observations and input about the trip’s activities.
“I seriously just love these people – I think because we all came in here not knowing one another and I think if someone walked into this room right now, they wouldn’t be able to tell that,” Kaitlin says.
The group has been so efficient that the site manager ran out of work for the Cobbers, which allowed the nearby Habitat Re-Store to swoop in and score 20 volunteers for the remaining two days of volunteer work.
“I think it’s going really great and everyone has really great attitudes – and it’s really fun to see people come out of their shells,” Hattie Carrier
The hard working Cobbers left Concordia at Noon on Saturday for the Spring Break trip and will return this weekend.