A group of 28 UW-Stout students are in the Southwest for a spring break road trip, but they won’t be spending the week relaxing on a Gulf Coast beach.
Instead, after driving more than 1,200 miles to Houston, they are helping Texans continue to recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. The students, from the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity, are partnering with the Northwest Harris County Habitat for Humanity chapter in Houston to help build new homes and provide other services, including tearing down damaged structures.
Their 18-hour road trip began Saturday, March 10. Spring break at UW-Stout is March 12-16.
Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane, hit southern Texas in late August and caused about $125 billion in damage.
The students’ effort is part of a Collegiate Challenge, a weeklong volunteering project sponsored by Habitat for Humanity International.
“We are excited about the work we’ll be doing and have been preparing for this trip since the beginning of the fall semester,” said Bailey Kilty, of Abbotsford, a senior interior design major who is the chapter’s events coordinator.
In recent years, the UW-Stout chapter has volunteered over spring break in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.
“The students taking their one and only week off from classes to volunteer really says a lot about their character,” Kilty said. “These students are passionate about and dedicated to the need of affordable housing. We, as a group, work to help and support our community, as well as communities across the country. We are so excited to extend our helping hand this year to those effected by Hurricane Harvey.”
Follow the students’ efforts throughout the week on UW-Stout’s Snapchat, @uwstout.
The 28 students, more than half of the chapter’s members, also have worked throughout the academic year on repair projects at homes of Menomonie residents, as well as painting, doing yard work and clearing gutters, Kilty said. The chapter president is Bryce Chrudimsky, of Aniwa, a senior construction major.
Members of UW-Stout’s Habitat for Humanity student chapter help build a house in Phoenix City, Ala., during spring break in 2017. This year they are helping in Houston, Texas.