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Students Lend a Helping Hand to Habitat for Humanity

Morristown, N.J. (April 28, 2015) – A group of 14 students took time away from their busy lives to volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity project Saturday, April 18 in Morristown.

Alaina Turse, director of volunteerism and service learning, gave the following account of the day's events:

The house that the group was assigned to work on during the day was just in its beginning stages of construction. "It was in shambles," Turse said.

The contractor explained what the tasks were for the day, how to use the tools, and then the young ladies were off to work. They were building a new kitchen addition to the house.

For the first half of the day, the students mixed concrete, transferred it via wheelbarrow, and then poured the concrete into the foundation. After a quick break for lunch, the volunteers worked on laying the boards down for the kitchen floor.

"Our students were very willing and energetic to volunteer for any job," Turse said. "The girls had no construction experience, and they were hauling concrete and laying the foundation like pros."

Habitat for Humanity requires the future homeowners to participate in the house's construction. The volunteers enjoyed working alongside the future owner.

Business administration major, Luz Dominguez '16, said, "My favorite part of the day was meeting the woman who was going to be living in the house. I realized my volunteering meant putting a roof over someone's head."

At the end of the eight-hour workday, the volunteers looked at the house and were encouraged by what they saw.

"We practically started out with nothing at the beginning of the day," Turse said, "and then we had something by the time we left."

Marie Deravil '16, business major, said her favorite part of the day was seeing the smile on the homeowner's face after the day was over. "I learned to appreciate what I have because everyone does not have an easy first start in life."

The College, founded by the Sisters of Charity, is grounded in the value of service. Service is not just an extracurricular at the College; it is built into the curriculum. "CSE doesn't just 'talk-the-talk,' we really 'walk-the-walk,'" said Turse.

"Community service not only enriches the lives of the people in need," Dominguez said, "it instills qualities of empathy, understanding and collaboration into the person offering the service."

CSE will participate in the next Habitat for Humanity project in the fall 2015 semester.

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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