Monday, May 05, 2008

Students enjoy spring break trip for Habitat

By Courtney Westlake

Students involved with Habitat for Humanity on the UIS campus took a different route in planning a spring break trip this academic year.

A group of ten students in the UIS Habitat for Humanity club, along with Beth Hoag, assistant director of student life at UIS, spent their week-long spring break in South Dakota, helping the local chapter of Habitat with various projects.

"I got involved in the Habitat club because I'm friends with Dan Bosomworth, who is the president," said Zach Berillo, a sophomore. "The club meets every Saturday, and we work on different houses in the area. We helped Dan with picking the location of our trip."

When Berillo mentioned the trip to his friends, Colin Samson decided he might like to join the group.

"It sounded like it'd be a fun adventure - a bunch of people helping out - and it sounded like something I'd like to do," Samson said.

The first day, the group helped to tear down a house that contained some pieces that Habitat wanted to salvage, like the circuit breaker, heater, vents, sinks and lighting fixtures. Those parts are then used in some of the new houses that Habitat will build, Berillo said.

The other three days the group spent in South Dakota included building a shed for a food pantry in the local town of Sioux Falls, Berillo said.

"It was too cold to build outside - 35 degrees - so we couldn't build a house or anything, but they had us build the shed inside a warehouse," he said. "It was really good because there were a lot of volunteers there, like some local guys who volunteer about 20 hours a week, so we got to work with them and talk with them, so that was really nice."

The students enjoyed getting to know each other better and learning about Sioux Falls and the people that live there.

"I liked it a lot. We managed to complete shed that we started; we stayed there a little longer," Samson said. "I hope it's in use."

The group is already looking forward to next year's spring break Habitat for Humanity trip.

"We're probably going to pick a place a little warmer so we can enjoy it a little bit more, but I think definitely for our first trip with Habitat for Humanity, it was a really good one," Berillo said.