On a brilliant late summer Saturday, the Warren County Habitat for Humanity construction team got help from a group of DeSales University volunteer students. The students, associated with the university’s Center for Service and Social Justice (CSSJ), joined the Habitat team building a duplex in Port Colden for two Habitat partner families.
The five student volunteers, Karen, Ellie, Rhianna, Kelly and Audrey, were tasked with conditioning of the soil around the foundation of the duplex where the clay and gravel has been compacted by construction vehicles. This encompassed loosening the soil with picks, shovels and rakes, and carting away the debris in a wheelbarrow. Their efforts prepared the ground for soil to support foundation bushes and other plantings to be added later in the fall.
These student take the “service” part of CSSJ seriously. They volunteer often, with Habitat and with several other groups. They receive no college credit for their work but like most volunteers, find reward in the knowledge that they are helping someone and making a difference in their lives. They have had a variety of real-world experiences, including assisting in humanitarian efforts in Africa.
Groups from the CSSJ regularly assist the Warren County Habitat teams at its build sites. In the past, they could be found framing walls, planting trees, painting interior walls, and in general, doing whatever construction tasks were needed at that particular time. The Center provides opportunities to the DeSales service volunteers at schools, shelters and other non-profits as well as with Habitat. In the past, students have used their spring break to join Habitat construction teams in distant states, volunteering their time and skills.
If you have a group of six or less individuals who would like to volunteer at the build site, call the Habitat for Humanity office at 908-835-1300.