Habitat Students to Build Homes on Alternative Spring Break

March 9, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – IWU’s Habitat for Humanity has been working hard all year, according to its members, and has some big plans to finish up the school year strong—among those, combining with Alternative Spring Break (ASB) next week to help build several homes in Mobile, Ala. 

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. Through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds houses with the help of the partner families. Habitat houses are sold at no profit and financed with no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are recycled into a fund that is used to build more houses. Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State combined their Habitat for Humanity chapters in 1993, and collaborates with McLean County's Habitat for Humanity.

Four Illinois Wesleyan students took the first Alternative Spring Break trip in March of 2008, where they helped rebuild homes in Pascagoula, Miss. after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Since then, IWU students have taken an Alternative Spring Break trip each year.  

Spring Break will be the Habitat’s chance to fully devote their time to the cause. President of the club and junior psychology major, Kevin Jun, said this is the second year they have teamed with ASB for this trip, last year going to Miami, Fla.  This year, 45 students, faculty and staff will travel to Mobile to aid in the construction of houses for underprivileged families, led by the program’s coordinator, University Chaplain, Reverend Elyse Nelson Winger. 

Before they leave, Habitat is busy with preparations for a BBQ fundraiser set for April, which the group hopes will help them reach their fundraising goal of $6,000 for the year.  Their biggest fall fundraiser was Trick-or-Treat for Change, in which IWU and ISU students went door-to-door in Bloomington-Normal trick-or-treating for donations. Habitat is currently building a home in town that they hope to finish by the end of the year.

Contact: Courtney Keenan, ’12, (309) 556-3181, univcomm@iwu.edu