Habitat Collegiate Challenge Group Makes VA News

Published on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Video courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Becker College Community Service Club is on its sixth Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge trip. The group of 17 has traveled to the Hanover, Va., volunteering to spend their Spring Break building homes.

Because the homes are constructed by volunteers, families can buy Habitat-built homes, appraised at $250,000, for $130,000. The work of the Becker group amounts to nearly 650 volunteer hours, at a savings of $21.53 an hour.

Student Activities Director Jean Blackmer is a co-advisor for the Becker group. She told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that when they started with Habitat, "we didn’t know much at all. We learned roofing and siding. We built walls last year. We’ve done soffits. We’ve done drywall and insulation, porches and sidewalks, and we built a shed."

"We learned how to build a house," Co-advisor Robbin Seymour said.

Matthew Steffani, a Becker senior with construction experience, said he was on his fourth Habitat trip, "because it feels good to do something nice."

The Becker Habitat Collegiate Challenge group has been larger in past years, numbering 25 to 30. This year the economy whittled those numbers down. Though the group fundraises to cover the cost of transportation, according to Blackmer, several students elected to stay behind and not take the time off from jobs.