MIDDLEPORT — College students from Alma, Michigan, spent a portion of their Christmas break volunteering six hours away from their college campus.
Those students took part in what the college calls “Alternative Breaks,” spending a week in Middleport working on the Habitat for Humanity house which is under construction.
Alma College students, plus a staff leader, spent five days in Meigs County, sanding, painting and priming drywall and the ceiling of the house, as well as painting doors.
Alternative Breaks provide students with the opportunity to travel to take part in projects such as work on the Habitat house.
The group said that the mission of Habitat was something that led them to take part in the project.
Some of the students had taken part in alternative break projects before and had worked on a habitat project, while others had seen Habitat in their communities, but had not been involved with the projects. Some brought contracting experience with them, while others were new to the construction process.
The group had the opportunity to work with the homeowner during a portion of the week which gave them some perspective on why they were taking part in the project.
While the alternative break projects are not mission projects, staff leader Catherine Newman explained that the group had talked about God a lot during their trip. Habitat is a faith based organization.
Bryan Smith of Habitat for Humanity Southeast Ohio explained that there are so many rumors regarding what Habitat is and when you are involved you learn what it is really about.
“It is rewarding doing God’s work,” said Smith.
The volunteers were hosted and shown around by churches in the community. Riverside Church of the Nazarene and Middleport Church of Christ provided the lodging and showers for the group. With Mt. Hermon, Restoration Fellowship, and Ash Street Church providing meals for the group. They also were provided lunch by The Corner Restaurant on Friday.
The group was able to interact with the pastors of the local churches when not working at the building site.
The group arrived Monday, Jan. 2, and worked on the build site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, before heading back home on Friday evening.
“Basically, these kids chose to volunteer in Meigs County, Ohio, on their winter break and have been welcomed to the community with open arms, once again Meigs County showing how incredible their community is,” said Samantha Waldron, Director of Community Engagement for Habitat for Humanity Southeast Ohio.
The completion date for the project is currently projected as the first week of February.
Volunteers are still needed beginning on Jan. 18, with approximately four people needed each day, according to Waldron. Work takes place at the site Wednesday through Saturday.
“We would honestly just like to thank our sponsor Mark Porter, Farmers Bank and Ohio Valley Bank for all of their support and help with this build, and most importantly the churches I mentioned earlier their congregations have just been overwhelmingly welcoming and have gone above and beyond to help us (Habitat) achieve this goal of build the house for Linda and her daughter,” stated Waldron in an email to the Sentinel.