Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Students partner with Habitat to volunteer and learn about poverty housing

This summer, 16 high school students from across the U.S. will volunteer with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity for 9 days as part of Habitat for Humanity International’s Learn and Build Experience, which provides  young people, ages 16 to 18, the opportunity to travel to a new community, get involved in Habitat’s mission and learn more about the issues surrounding poverty housing.

July 7-15, the students will volunteer on new home construction sites; help in the ReStore; and participate in a Shiloh service day which will include helping in the community garden, helping with a river clean-up, and working on Habitat’s Pope Francis House. The group will kick off their experience with an orientation to Asheville Area Habitat, including a safety talk and tours of the ReStore and Habitat neighborhoods. The team will also have dinner with a Habitat partner family one night; this is typically the highlight of the week for any visiting work team. And while the team will work hard and learn a lot, they will also get to experience a little bit of Asheville life by attending a Tourist’s baseball game one evening and enjoying one full day of relaxation and exploration.

“Asheville has hosted other Habitat International groups, but this is our first Learn and Build team,” said Stephanie Wallace, Construction Services Volunteer Coordinator. “We are excited to be a host city this year and look forward to working with this team.”

Overall, 80 students have been selected to participate in Habitat’s Learn and Build Experience and will volunteer with one of the Habitat affiliate host sites in Wisconsin, North Carolina,  Louisiana, Hawaii and Macedonia. Another 25 alumni participants will volunteer with a Habitat affiliate in Georgia. Both groups will also spend time learning about the need for affordable housing.   

“We would like to thank Asheville Area Habitat for hosting Learn and Build Experience participants,” said Jose Quinonez, director of Volunteer Programs at Habitat. “Together we will help families realize the dream of homeownership and provide a memorable experience for everyone involved.”

Habitat for Humanity’s Learn and Build Experience is one of many Habitat youth programs that work to capture the imagination, energy and hope of young people worldwide, ages 5 to 25. Major support for Habitat’s Learn and Build Experience comes from the Seedling Foundation.

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