Habitat trip leaves lasting impression

Over mid-semester break, 138 Cobbers on seven buses traveled across the United States to help others in need for Habitat for Humanity projects.

The seven trips taken this year included destination cities of Pensacola, Fla., Mandeville, La., Wilmington, N.C., Johns Island, S.C., Denver, Colo., El Paso, Texas, and Taos, N.M.

Both Jennifer Glatt and Austin Keller, Habitat for Humanity Spring Break Co-Coordinators, agreed that this year was an excellent turnout.

“As a board we worked really hard this year to make the trips affordable for students,” Glatt said. It is such a wonderful experience, and we wanted to make it accessible to anyone interested.  We had great success with fundraising and hope to continue this strong representation of Concordia students through Habitat in the years to come.”

Sophomore Lindsay Jacobs attended the trip to Johns Island, S.C. She said they worked from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. every day, for five straight days, working on tasks like insulation, caulking, siding, digging a foundation or hanging soffit.

“The Sea Island Habitat employees that we worked with were extremely friendly,” she said.  “We even played volleyball together after work and went to dinner at a local restaurant with them. During our free time our trip explored downtown Charleston, visited a southern plantation, went to the beach, and kayaked in the ocean.”

Jacobs encouraged all students to take advantage of this chance to put their faith into action and develop lifelong friendships. When asked about her favorite part of the trip, she was quick to say that it was the friendships that she and others around her made.

“It was amazing to see so many different personalities mesh so well together to accomplish something greater than ourselves,” she said.

Glatt also thinks these relationships are extremely valuable.

“A great aspect of Habitat trips is the relationships the students build with each other and the faculty advisor on the trip,” she said. “Not only was it a very humbling experience on my part, but I was able to make lasting relationships with fellow students, faculty and met so many wonderful people…It is an experience that I will remember for a lifetime.”

Hao Han, a Concordia international student from China, took the trip to Pensacola, Fla. His favorite part of the trip was getting to know people. He said that the 30 hour bus ride was long, but he also emphasized his appreciation for it as that was where he got to meet and talk to the 20 students that accompanied him.

Keller expressed his hope for students to gain a passion for service out of these trips.

“While it is great that students got the opportunity to go on a fun trip, I hope this is just the beginning of a lot more service to come,” he said.

Both Glatt and Keller want to remind Concordia students that there are more trips to come. This year, two students on the board are planning a May International trip to Costa Rica. There are also opportunities around the area to work because last year the group started having smaller local trips.

The Habitat board and other student organizations on campus also worked on a “Playhouse Project” this year where they came together to build playhouses for the Lake Agassiz Habitat Re-Store. In the future, they hope to further strengthen their connections with Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity and reach out into the Fargo-Moorhead community.

“We are so fortunate that Concordia supports Habitat,” Glatt said. “These trips truly exemplify Concordia’s mission and allow for students to become responsibly engaged in the world.  I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful experience with Habitat at Concordia.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity, email hfh@cord.edu. Glatt and Keller both encouraged students to check out different trip options.

Submitted by Lindsay Jacobs. Over mid-semester break, 138 Cobbers on seven buses traveled across the United States to help others in need for Habitat for Humanity projects. Above: A photo taken on the Charleston, S.C., group’s last day on site at Sea Island Habitat.

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