The Emory & Henry campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity is building on big things.
Mary Beth Tignor, campus chapter advisor, and Jimmy Whited, director of housing, led a group of five students on a spring break trip to Columbus, Ga., to work with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge, a year-round alternative break program.
During the week of March 10, the Emory & Henry students worked along with members from the Columbus area affiliate as well as students from three other visiting schools to construct four homes in the East Highland neighborhood.
The Columbus Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity has devoted its attention to this neighborhood for the past 20 years. “It was truly amazing to see 91 students from four schools, Emory & Henry College, Western Kentucky University, Washington College, and the University of Pittsburg, work together to construct four homes in only five days,” said Tignor.
Although this was the first Habitat for Humanity trip for most of the E&H students, the College is no stranger to the mission of Habitat for Humanity. Throughout the years, Emory & Henry students have engaged in serving Habitat for Humanity both nationally and internationally. Former E&H employee Shai Cullop led a similar trip last year to Macon, Ga. Jimmy Whited will be taking a group of 18 students to Nicaragua at the end of this semester for a short-term study abroad trip.
“This was my first Habitat for Humanity spring break trip and it was a privilege to be the leader. We took a group of students from diverse backgrounds and everyone returned feeling like a family,” said Tignor who graduated from Emory & Henry in May 2013.
“We encountered a steep learning curve during the trip,” laughed Tignor. “The hardest part of the service experience was the fact that there were more than 20 people who’d never met before or even helped to build, of all things, a house. We only had two experienced contractors who constantly ran from group to group teaching us what to do and sometimes we had to figure it out on our own,” she said.
“The most rewarding part of the trip was to watch these college students come together as a team. It was amazing to watch four slabs of concrete turn into four houses in just five days,” said Tignor. “Habitat for Humanity is a great way to serve others. It’s great to know that you are helping to provide shelter for people who are in need.”
Members of the campus chapter currently are assisting Washington County, Va., Habitat for Humanity with building a new house for a local family.
For more information, visit Facebook at Habitat for Humanity: E&H Campus Chapter.