Huntington students travel to Florida to work on homes

(left to right, front row) Katie Crandall, Kamie Peterson, Jonathon Birkey, Lindsay Sherman, Lindsay Pryor and (left to right, back row) Amie Arthur, Hillary Risser, Ashley Ray, Kellyn Atkins, Katie Mitchel, Martha Smith, Lara Smitley
Huntington, Ind.—Twelve Huntington University students spent their spring break offering helping hands to the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge. The students not only worked on homes, but also built relationships with those they worked with along the way.

The group, led by associate dean of student development, Martha Smith, and junior social work major, Katie Mitchel, from Monroe, Ind., helped with putting up hurricane strips on one duplex and building cabinets and hanging trim in another.

Lara Smitley, Lindsay Sherman and Kellyn Atkins, in front of one of the homes the team worked on
“I think that the best part of this trip was getting to know the men we were working with,” Mitchel said. “They all have different stories, and it was great to spend time in conversation with them.”

Mitchel says her expectations for the trip were that her group members would work as hard as they could to help families get into their homes as soon as possible, while forming long-lasting relationships that showed the love of Christ.

Amie Arthur (left) and Lindsay Sherman build the base of the columns for a front porch.
During their free time, the group was visited the director’s pool and did some sun-tanning. They also used this time to take naps and relax. In addition the students went shopping one day and ate at delicious restaurants.

“The toughest part of the trip personally for me was being an effective leader,” Mitchel said. “The toughest part of the trip for the group happened when they sent us home early one day, and we really wanted to continue to work, but there was nothing for us to do, which was frustrating.”

Smith says her favorite part of the trip was interacting with students one on one and building relationships with the retired volunteer supervisors.

“It was a long drive down to Lakeland and back, but I really enjoyed the driving time,” Smith said. “I felt like God really had His hand on us throughout the trip, especially the time when we drove through Atlanta right after tornadoes had gone through.”

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


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