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Tech students pitch in with Habitat for Humanity for alternative spring break

Spring Break is often a chance for college students to visit home and catch up with friends and family. This year, a group of seven Golden Bears wanted to make sure others had a place to call home, so they teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam to help with one of the organization’s projects in Charleston.

WVU Tech volunteers spent time landscaping at a Habitat for Humanity build site in CharlestonWVU Tech volunteers spent time landscaping at a Habitat for Humanity build site in Charleston.

The group spent two days working at Habitat’s ReStore location. The ReStore sells donated furniture, appliances and building materials at discounted prices, and proceeds from the store help to fund local Habitat projects. At the ReStore, the group helped to clean and organize portions of the store and prepare donated items for sale.

Volunteers also spent their time working at one of the organization’s construction sites in Charleston. Students worked with Habitat volunteers to provide landscaping around one of the houses and ensure proper yard drainage. The group also worked to lay down mulch and straw.

Student volunteers included Igor Pereira, Brenda Rivera, Ana Flavia Monteiro, Vinicius Kawamukai Rios, Scotty Stone, Patrick Gnagbo and Mark Magallanes.

“Spring Break is an important time for all students, either to rest from school or to go visit their families,” said Pereira, a junior chemical engineering major from São Paulo, Brazil.

“Habitat for Humanity is a pretty awesome project made by people who care about others. I chose to be a volunteer because we are all part of the same community and I feel that I can help a lot of people, even if I don’t know them. I feel really good knowing that with this kind of job I’m being a part of a change in someone’s life,” he said.

WVU Tech resident director Michael Sheldon organized the volunteer trips and said he was impressed with the students who participated.

“I think it is great that the students spend time here during their Spring Break to help with the community. They are learning important skills and also about the Habitat for Humanity program, such as the process one goes through to get a house,” he said. “I can’t give them enough credit. They have worked incredibly hard this week and deserve as much thanks as they can get.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity or the ReStore, visit the  Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam website.