Students anticipate alternative springbreak building homes

While many college students will hit the beaches in coming weeks, several GW students are organizing spring break trips to assist in the building and development of houses, an alternative to traditional spring break vacations.

In September senior Jim Quinlan began organizing a group to build houses in Sumter, S.C. Quinlan said a diverse group of 21 students, including freshmen and seniors, will drive vans to South Carolina during spring break.

They’re actually building four new houses, he said.

Quinlan said a friend of his participated in this kind of trip at a different school, and he wanted to organize a similar project at GW.

I’m a senior, so this is the last shot to do something like this, he said.

He said the Newman Center has been helpful in assisting with the organization of the trip.

It’s been a good experience getting this going, he said.

Quinlan said there will be a benefit concert March 12 at 9 p.m. at Western Presbyterian Church to raise money for the trip. GW-affiliated musicians will be performing at the benefit concert.

Bhumika Patel is part of the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge 2000. This year she is helping to organize spring break trips to Jacksonville and Miami, Fla. She said 10 students will be going to Jacksonville, and seven students will be going to Miami. The students will be staying in churches, she said. While she is not going on one of the trips this year, she went to Jacksonville on a similar trip in the past.

Tanya Karimi is the student leader of the spring break trip to islands off the coast of Charleston, S.C. She wrote in an e-mail that nine GW students, five adults and one child will be going on the trip to clean homes that suffered water damage from last year’s floods.

We’ll be working through a group called Rural Missions, located on Johns Island, who will assign us work projects that will range from building to repair and clean-up jobs on houses for poor residents of the islands, she wrote.

Karimi said the group is going on this trip in an effort to help others and to learn about other cultures.

Many of us are also excited to learn about the culture and to interact with the people we will be helping, she wrote.

There is huge satisfaction in physically exhausting yourself for someone else’s needs, and you ride an emotional high for the next few weeks afterwards, Karimi said.

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