UMW Students Spend Fall Break with Habitat for Humanity

A group of University of Mary Washington students spent their Fall Break giving back to the community through an Alternative Fall Break trip on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The four-day trip, organized through the office of Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) and Habitat for Humanity, brought the students to the small town of Exmore, just three hours from Fredericksburg.

A  student sands wood as part of a Habitat for Humanity project in Exmore, Va.

A student sands wood as part of a Habitat for Humanity project in Exmore, Va.

For the first three days, the students worked on a house in the last stages of construction, sanding, painting, and putting the final touches on the home with the help of other volunteers and the future homeowners themselves.

“[The 10-year-old son of one of the residents] was very proud of seeing his own home being built,” said sophomore Maura Slocum. “It was very rewarding to have him and the homeowner right there with us.”

On the last day in Exmore, the students, along with Director of Service Christina Eggenberger, helped with the demolition of a house that was in unlivable condition. The land will become the site for a new Habitat home in the future.

“You get to see that the work you are doing is building towards someone else’s life,” said Madeline Moravitz, a junior COAR staff member.

On the last day of the trip, students demolished a house to create a site for a new Habitat for Humanity home.

On the last day of the trip, students demolished a house to create a site for a new Habitat for Humanity home.

COAR, part of the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service, takes service trips each year during both Fall Break and Spring Break. In 2014, students will travel to Lucedale, Miss., Smyrna, Fla., and Bluffton, S.C. for Spring Break. For more information or to register for one of the trips, contact coarumw@gmail.com.

“It is incredibly heartwarming that students are really interested in dedicating their time on their break to providing affordable housing to others,” Moravitz said.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.