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College students spend spring break volunteering


Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring break often conjures up images of college students overrunning resort areas like Daytona Beach, Fla., South Padre Island, Texas, or Cancun, Mexico. However, a new trend is taking hold among college students as many are forgoing the traditional sun and fun spring break in favor of options that are a bit more worldly: volunteering.

This year, Habitat for Humanity is marking the 25th anniversary of its Collegiate Challenge, an alternative spring break that allows thousands of students across the country the chance to do some good during their time off. Since its inception in 1989, this program has welcomed more than 230,000 students and raised almost $24 million for its chapters.

"We are grateful to all of the students who have so graciously dedicated their spring break to helping others over the last 25 years," said Mark Andrews, the vice president of volunteer and institutional engagement for Habitat for Humanity International. "Many families have been able to realize their dream of home ownership thanks to the Collegiate Challenge program."

As spring breaks occur across the country, groups of student volunteers will head to 178 different Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Volunteers work with local citizens to build new homes or remodel existing structures. In addition to giving back to the community and doing some good for others, student volunteers develop a myriad of skills from hanging drywall to organizing a project to communicating effectively.

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