Bridgewater College students volunteer with Habitat over spring break

bridgewater collegeA group of Bridgewater College students and a faculty member will share their time and talents as they spend spring break volunteering as construction workers with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break 2016.

The students, accompanied by Robbie Miller, college chaplain and adviser of BC’s campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity, will leave for Tucker, Ga., on Sunday, March 6, and return to campus on Saturday, March 12.

For the 2016 Spring Break Challenge, the group will work in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity – DeKalb Inc. affiliate.

Seniors Ashley B. Epping, a health and exercise science major, from Luray, Va., and Melissa McMindes, a psychology major with a minor in cultural studies, from Waynesboro, Va., are student leaders for the group.

Both Epping and McMindes are making their third Habitat trip. They have participated in Spring Break Collegiate Challenges in Delray Beach, Fla., and Athens, Ala.

“I enjoy spending time serving other people and gaining new memories along the way,” Epping said. “As a student, I forget that a world exists outside the Bridgewater College campus. These past couple of years, I have been blessed with opportunities to travel and explore new settings while helping other people.”

“These trips allow students from all majors and walks of life to get to know each other in a new context,” said McMindes. “You can build new relationships with other students and also with the families that will live in the home we work on.”

The BC Campus Chapter, established in 1995, is one of nearly 700 campus chapters worldwide. Organized by Bridgewater students, the group is affiliated with Central Valley Habitat for Humanity in Bridgewater, and helps provide shelter to the residents of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

This is the 24th year that Bridgewater College students have used spring break to work on various Habitat projects, including three trips to Miami and one each to Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Independence, Mo. and Austin, Texas.

Now in its 40th year, Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing worldwide. The organization works in partnership with people in need throughout the world, building simple, decent shelter that is sold to them at no profit and financed with affordable loans.

In addition to Epping and McMindes, Bridgewater College students making the trip are:

  • Andrew Bollinger, a senior philosophy and religion major with a minor in English, from Bridgewater, Va.
  • Josh Bollinger, a senior chemistry major with a minor in biology, from Bridgewater, Va.
  • Sean Bright, a junior history major with a minor in economics, from Needmore, Pa.
  • Delaney Burgett, a junior health and physical education major with a minor in coaching, from Williamsburg, Va.
  • Lauren Flora, a sophomore sociology major with a minor in art, from Bridgewater, Va.
  • Sarah Frye, a senior biology major, from Strasburg, Va.
  • Courney Hawkins, a junior sociology and art double major with a minor in peace studies, from Bassett, Va.
  • Emily C. Helms, a senior business administration major with a minor in communication studies, from Boone, N.C.
  • Jordan A. Jones, a sophomore psychology major, from Reistertown, Md.
  • Syrga Kanatbek Kyzy, a freshman global studies major, from Middletown, Md.
  • Cody L. Noblitt, a junior environmental science major with an art minor, from Waverly, Va.
  • Brooke Allison Smith, a senior psychology major with a minor in crime and justice, from Huntingtown, Md.
  • Nathan Stephenson, a senior global studies major with minors in communication studies and cultural studies, from Ellicott City, Md.
  • Jenna W. Walmer, a sophomore global studies and philosophy and religion double major with a minor in peace studies, fromMount Joy, Pa.
  • Shelley Weachter, a senior mathematics major with a minor in philosophy and religion, from Manassas, Va.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduate students.

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