Cedar Crest Students Participate in Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Blitz
Cedar Crest College students aided in building a better community through Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Blitz on Tuesday, August 20 in Bethlehem, Pa. Students who participated are also serving as orientation leaders for Cedar Crest’s fall orientation this Thursday, Aug. 22 through Sunday, Aug. 25. Civic engagement is one of the College’s core values, and what better way to introduce that concept to new students than to have current students lead by example.
Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley’s Executive Director, Deb Cummins, said that the project is a part of Habitat International’s Women Build initiative, intended to give women the opportunity to be involved in making a difference in affordable housing.
“It means raising funds to build a house, learning how to construct a house—which is what the students are doing today—and really seeing and being a part of the solution to homelessness in our community,” she said.
Cedar Crest College students complete more than 20,000 hours of community service each year, earning the College placement on the Presidential Honor Roll for the last 7 years, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement. Cedar Crest students have a number of community service opportunities throughout the year, organized by Cedar Crest’s director of community service program, Tammy Bean.
“The Habitat for Humanity Women Build program provides an opportunity for women to embrace and understand their inner strength while equipping them with lifelong skills that will be needed after leaving the Cedar Crest College community,” Bean said. “In addition, this program will help the students appreciate their connections to each other and to the greater community.”
Cedar Crest student, Lindsay Faust ‘15, understands that connection to the greater community. “The way I see it, we're all part of a community, whether we like it or not,” she said. “Accepting a part in the community and becoming an active and aware member demands hard work, but it’s very rewarding.”
Faust added, “Being an active citizen in both the Cedar Crest community and the Lehigh Valley enables me to provide my services to those in need. I get a sense of shared ownership and pride in my community by volunteering, which is why I take part in events like Women Build.”
Sophomores Gabrielle Kennedy and Eva Barrett also participated in Tuesday’s activities, and agree that volunteering for organizations like Habitat for Humanity is a very rewarding experience. “Community service can help build friendships while doing a good deed. Bringing a community together is what everyone needs. It always brings me great joy to see others happy,” Kennedy said.
Maria Vincent ‘15 finds that service puts the challenges of everyday life into perspective. “Oftentimes it is easy to overlook the luxuries and opportunities that are afforded to us each day. Serving is important because it allows us to share a part of our lives to better someone else's. Everyone deserves a home and the Women Build is the chance to directly contribute to a family's dream of having a house.”
The full project is running through Saturday, August 24.