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Students relax and serve on Spring Break trips

While most students were going home for Spring Break, a group of 34 students and two faculty members set out for South Carolina on the yearly trip with Habitat for Humanity. Half of the students headed towards Spartanburg and the other half left for Georgetown.

“In order to raise funds for the whole trip, we sold balloons on Valentine’s Day, and each of us sent out 12 support letters,” said sophomore Steve Hedrick, who led the Spartanburg trip. “The balloons raised $1,500 and in response to the support letters, we gathered $10, 000.”

According to sophomore Joel Hertzog, who led the Georgetown trip, the teams received more money than they expected.

The Georgetown group arrived in South Carolina on Feb. 28. “One of the first things we did was cleaning a Restore [thrift store] owned by Habitat for Humanity, which was going to re-open the next day,” senior Elaine Doud said. “We cleaned the place thoroughly and arranged the furniture to prepare it for the reopening,” Doud said.

The Georgetown group lived in the volunteer house for Habitat for Humanity. “We had fun making bunk beds and did some awesome construction work and I am hoping I can make it next year too,” first-year Bryant Burkhart said.

The Spartanburg group had difficulties getting to their destination because of the heavy snow encountered on the way. However, they managed to get there safely and quickly got to work.

“We helped in reselling old furniture and appliances to save money for building homes, reorganizing and cleaning, and did some construction work,” Hedrick said.

Hedrick thought team spirit was the key thing that kept the group motivated. Junior Ken Hufnal was excited about the team and even the trivial accident he had.

“I received a nice lump on the head when my friend [junior] Emily Martin whacked me in the head with a drywall ceiling. It was painful but really fun,” Hufnal said in an e-mail. The group worked for Habitat for Humanity during the day and spent their nights in Trinity United Methodist Church.

The group members agreed that they had a wonderful experience helping people, but the highlight of the trip was making new friends.

“I knew just one person on the trip when I left from Eastern but I returned with 17 good friends,” Burkhart said.

“We worked so fast since we were good friends and cooperated with each other,” Doud said.

All of the students interviewed were glad they chose to work over break, expressing hopeful desires to return next year.

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