Written by: Rebecca Spary
I’m here to tell you about my latest adventure: spending my time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity as a member of the Brock Cares Alternative Reading Week program. I travelled down to Sumter, South Carolina with 26 like-minded Brock students and two staff leaders to build a home for a family in need.
Before the trip began I will confess that I definitely had my anxieties. I was worried that I wouldn’t have the right work skills, that I would be more of hindrance than help, that I wouldn’t make any friends etc. I considered backing out of the trip up a couple of times but fortunately I didn’t!
While we were in Sumter we spent our days on the worksite in the Habitat community putting together the wood framing for the house. We built corners and t’s, windowsills and headers, we toenailed, regular nailed, and put up walls. We actually got to work alongside the family that will be moving into the house once its complete, and seeing how strong and happy they are to have this opportunity brought tears to my eyes.Their positive energy and attitude was truly inspiring and infectious! An abundance of love and care was put into the building of the house. Every little bit helped: hammering one nail, cutting a single piece of wood, smiling and laughing with the family and making new friends. It all made a difference!
We spent our evenings reflecting on our lives and experiences in Sumter, taking the time to learn about each other and ourselves. Playing many a game of Nine Square, cooking and organizing meals for each other, and having a blast! It was essentially the best summer camp with the most magnificent group of individuals I could ever have dream off! I cannot wait until my friends from home get sick of me rambling about how much I loved my experience!
At the end of the week we had to come up with one word to summarize our experience and my word was ‘change’. This is because my mind, body, and soul had all been changed for the better because of my involvement in Habitat. Making a positive difference in someone else’s life is inexplicably beautiful. One of my main reflections from my trip was aided by our Habitat for Humanity leader, a brilliant and caring man named Bob, who described the experience as a beautiful scar. Meaning that, although we return to our ‘normal’ lives, getting absorbed into the daily grind, the experience and the memories of our time volunteering will stay with us forever, a beautiful reminder of the lives we’ve touched.
The adventure of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity alongside my fellow Brock Badgers changed my mind, body, and soul for the better. I cannot recommend the experience of participating in any one of the Brock Cares Alternative Reading Week programs enough! Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Now, lets wrap up this post the same way we ended all of our group meetings throughout the week, with our signature chant.
Who are you? Brock U. Who are you? Brock U. Who are you? Brock U. Who are we? BROCK UNIVERSITY!