Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Blog

Each year during spring break, students have the opportunity to work on new home construction for chapters of Habitat for Humanity. Most recently, these service trips have been to Texas and West Virginia. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has helped build, renovate and repair affordable houses for more than 5 million people worldwide.

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     Today was our last day working and we had so much fun! We did various tasks such as bringing in cabinets for the kitchen and bathrooms, cleaning the front yard, and painting trim both inside and outside. After saying our goodbyes to the homeowners and the Habitat construction crew, we had an exclusive Two-Step dance lesson with a local dance instructor. Many of the girls danced with each other and the instructor, as well as having a great time learning country moves!

     For dinner, we went to a local Texas-style food joint called Dixie Chicken. We enjoyed the fried pickles, antique Texas metal signs, and the real live rattlesnake! After dinner we traveled right down the street to enjoy the Texas A&M campus once more and took a nice little stroll around the football stadium, Kyle field. 

     A toast with Big Red, a Texan soda trademark, was made once we returned home. Each girl gave a little insight on why they chose to go on this trip. As each girl talked about their experience, the ability to share this reflection and experience with one another was very eye opening and beneficial for each of us. Although each girl looks forward to returning home to reunite with families, I think I can speak for the group by saying that we also wish we could stay and continue what we started here in Texas.

     I look forward to hearing about those who may choose to go on this trip next year. I hope that our underclassman who had the opportunity to share their efforts this year will choose to do the same next year.

-Liz H (Head of Habitat 2019)

  • 2019

 

     What a fun and productive day! We spent it at Lakeisha’s house scraping floors, laying down glue and installing flooring. We completed the whole house! It felt so good to see our progress. We also had a chance to talk with Lakeisha for a short time (those floors were waiting) and she told us she has five children, four boys and a girl. (#girlpower) Their ages are 13, 10, 3 and a set of twins who are 2. We are going back to the house tomorrow to finish all that we can so Lakeisha and her kids can move into the house in about two weeks.

     Tonight we returned to Gumby’s for dinner because it’s Pi Day and what better way to celebrate than to have pizza pies. We went earlier in the week and it was so delicious that a return trip was in order.

     Right now, the girls are making up songs with their names and laughing so loudly that I’m surprised that the neighbors aren’t knocking on the door. One of the best parts of the trip has been the opportunity to spend so much time with such a terrific group of girls. They have been working very hard compromising and negotiating when necessary and have many laughs, playing catch in the street, card games and singing song after song. Hats off to Erin today as she was the first to volunteer for every job and worked so hard to complete every task.

     Tomorrow is our last day of work. We will work hard, have fun and celebrate at a final night dinner with Madeline our host from Habitat.

     We ended the day with chocolate cream and apple pie to celebrate the day. Happy Pi Day everyone!

-Mrs. Helmin

  • 2019

 

     We can't believe that we only have three days left! This morning we woke up to pouring rain and dark skies. Though the weather was crummy, our spirits were bright. Today we went to another house, where we painted doors and scraped the floors so that tomorrow we can lay the flooring. With us being here, the build for this home was cut down by two weeks!! This family will move in in three weeks. So exciting!

     For dinner we went to Hullabaloo Diner which the group agreed on to be our favorite meal. Fun fact: Guy Fieri has been to this diner which was featured on his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

     After dinner, we went to Dairy Queen. We can't wait to lay the floors and share so many laughs.

-Kay and Erin

  • 2019

 

Howdy!

     Today was the first full day of work at the site. We woke up bright and early to begin finishing the siding we had started on Saturday. We used nail guns to secure the panels and had  prepared for painting by washing all the walls, caulking, and filling nail holes with putty. After that, we laid two coats of blue-grey paint. It looked great! Other than the white trim that needs to be finished, we have almost finished all of the paint for this house. 

     After that we went to J. Cody’s Steaks and Barbeque, where we enjoyed meals from brisket to salmon and unlimited sides! The restaurant was filled with memories of the Aggie Bonfire, that fell in 1999. From pictures to helmets from the site, the Aggie spirit could not go unnoticed. Tomorrow we look forward to another day of work and potentially watching a Texas A&M softball game!

-Maisie & Alexis 

 

  • 2019

Howdy Parents,       

     The morning started off with a stop at Taco Cabana for breakfast tacos. After we had eaten, we embarked on our journey to Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. When we arrived we set out on a tour of the campus; where we saw the tallest rock climbing wall of any Texas University and a very fancy swimming pool. After our tour of campus, we headed towards Magnolia Market. 

     When arriving at the market we each picked what we wanted for lunch from a variety of food trucks; you could choose from burgers, grilled cheese, barbecue, pizza, sweat tea and caramel apples. It was very delicious. Then we preceded to shop inside Chip and Joanna’s authentic store. After we shopped, we traveled to the Dr. Pepper museum, which was just down the road. We learned about the history of Dr. Pepper and enjoyed a free sample. After our adventure at the museum, we were ready to head back to Bryan. For dinner we went to Raising Cane’s, which specializes in fried chicken fingers and French fries. We took the meal to the house and played a few rounds of charades, before taking showers and hitting the sack. Tomorrow we wake up early and face our first full day of work! 

-Ms. Ness and Lizzy

  • 2019

Hi Everyone!

     First of all, happy sweet sixteen to Erin Corbett! Today’s day started off with a bus ride at 8:30 (party) bus ride to San Antonio, Texas. After approximately three hours in the bus including a stop at Buc-ee’s, we arrived to the city around 11:30. While we were there, we walked around many vendors who were selling food and Mexican trinkets. The girls bought jewelry, souvenirs, and art. Afterwards, we enjoyed lunch at Mi Tierra Café and Bakery while listening to Mariachi bands, eating enchiladas, and singing happy birthday to Erin. 

     We then made our way to the River Walk, and had a great 35-minute boat tour while listening to the history of San Antonio. Before heading back to the bus, we stopped at a café for some mid-afternoon iced coffee. 

     We stopped at In-N-Out Burger on our way back from San Antonio. After returning home, we decided we would have sandwiches and crackers, joined by karaoke, dancing, and again, singing to Erin.

     We look forward to returning to work on Tuesday, but before then, we will travel to Waco, TX, tomorrow. Stay tuned!

-Emmy & Liz

 

 

  • 2019

 

Hi Everyone!

     Today was our first day on the worksite.  We got to shingle the roof of the house and put the siding on.  Everyone was super nice on the site and it was a blast!  We met the two kids that would live in the house.  Their names were Victor and Alexa.  Both were so cute and helped put the siding on their new house.  It was so awesome getting to know the family that’s going to live in the house. 

     Today was just a half day at the work site so for lunch we went to Whataburger, which is a burger chain here in Texas. After lunch we went back to the house and rested for a little bit.

     In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to go to George Bush’s Presidential library where we visited George Bush’s burial site. We then went to Texas A&M where we saw the football stadium, Kyle Field, which was enormous. We then went to the Texas A&M bonfire memorial.

     To wrap up the day we returned to the house for an hour of football and softball in the streets and then we ate dinner at a pizza place called Gumby’s.

     We are super excited to be in Texas and are looking forward to visiting San Antonio tomorrow!

-Caroline & Sam

 

  • 2019

 

Hi Everyone!

     Today was jam packed full of new adventures. We first arrived at Bradley International. Airport at 6:30 am (Thank you Mr.Yang) We boarded our plane around 7:30 and departed at 8:00am. The plane ride was pretty good for the most part, however turbulence during the middle of the plane ride made us all feel as if we were on a rollercoaster.

     We landed at the Houston airport at 11:00am and immediately went to pick up our rental cars. While waiting we witnessed some excellent lassoing and a bunch of unique cowboy hats. We got 2 cars each being a minivan and headed to Buck-ee’s, a gas station that is bigger than Connecticut and had a bigger population than Simsbury, CT. Buck-ee’s had everything from clothing to jerky to 44 oz sodas to freshly cooked food.

     After our spectacular adventure to Buck-ee’s we drove for about an hour to our habitat house in Bryan, TX. After seeing Maddy and her crew, we headed to Walmart to pick up our supplies for the week and then came back and had our first family meeting. After our meeting, we relaxed for a bit and then headed to Casa Rodriguez for dinner. After dinner we walked around and explored the town. When we finished walking we headed back to our house and played some games to learn more about each other.

     We look forward to our first day of work tomorrow!!

-Kay & Erin

 

  • 2019

Today, we had the opportunity to work on two beautiful houses.

Our main goal for today was to lay sod for the landscape on the property of the houses. Half way through the day, we were treated to some ice cream and puppy love from our new friend, Buddy, a pet of a Habitat volunteer.

To end our day we went to the Texas A&M Softball game to watch them take on our very own, UConn Softball team. UConn ended up on top with a 6-1 victory over the Aggies, the 7th best college team in Division 1 in the country! To top it all off, we got a picture on the field with UConn softball team.

Big thanks to Chad and Maddy for being so helpful and welcoming to all of us this week. This was a great way to spend our spring break and we were so excited to have been able to make an impact in the lives of others in our community.

Even though we all wish to stay in the warm weather and build houses, we will be returning to Connecticut tomorrow after a long, worthwhile week in Bryan/College Station, TX.

  • 2018

This morning, we went to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse. This is where the houses are built in pieces before being transported to the worksite. After meeting the Habitat dog, Simba, we loaded a couple of disassembled sheds onto the trailer, then drove to the same house we worked on yesterday.

Over the course of the day, we painted the exterior of the house and insulated it using a foam gun. We worked alongside several Habitat volunteers including the homeowner, Jessica to cover the house in a double coat of paint.

At ten o'clock, we took a 17-minute break to participate in the national school walk-out to honor the seventeen students and staff who lost their lives a month ago in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We recited the school meditation and then stayed silent for seventeen minutes. Although classes are not in session for us, we felt that it was important to participate in this national event.

We ate hot dogs for lunch. There were three choices: plain, with chili, or with chili and cheese. All morning, the Construction Manager, Chad, had been hyping up the lemonade. When we tasted it, we agreed with him: it was delicious!

After lunch, we cleaned up the worksite, picking up trash and watching Chad use the Bobcat to pick up chunks of concrete. Then our group split: half of us went to another worksite, where they continued picking up trash and loading scrap wood into the trailer. The other group continued painting the house to finish the second coat.

Finally, after a long day of painting, we realized that today was Pi Day! On the way back from work, we stopped at a local farm stand to pick up a pie. Then, we returned to the church to shower before heading to Chuy's, a local Mexican restaurant, for dinner.

Then we went to play laser tag at Grand Station Entertainment. There, we discovered that it was ladies night, meaning that laser tag was free! Unfortunately, we lost the game, so we headed back to the church to sleep and prepare for another full day of work.

- Imani and Isabel

  • 2018

Day 4! We started off our early morning by driving to a different house that we would be working on that day. Once we arrived, we started by being told tasks we would be completing for the day. Chad, the Construction Manager, taught us how to properly putty the nail holes and caulk the gaps in the siding of the house. Our group split up and quickly got down to work for several hours. We were so productive, we even began to paint the white trim. It was a fun yet messy job and we ended up with white putty and caulk all over our hands. Our productive and efficient morning finished with delicious hamburgers, potato chips, and Girl Scout cookies for lunch while soaking up the Texas sun.

Our afternoon began with a quick run back to the church and a clean-outfit change in preparation for our exciting afternoon activities. Once we changed out of our dirty work attire, we headed over to Texas A&M University for a campus tour. During the tour, our Ethel family learned all about the traditions and terminology of the school. These traditions include the Texas A&M greeting of “Howdy!”, which is an official chant used at football games as well as a phrase students and visitors use to greet each other. Our tour guide also showed us the iconic Lawrence Sullivan Ross (a.k.a. Sully) statue, where students leave pennies for good luck before exams. Another highlight was learning the story of the 12th Man. The 12th Man is significant to Texas A&M because it teaches the students of Texas A&M the lesson of being ready for their team when needed, a same concept that is echoed in the loyalty and integrity that Walker’s teaches us as students. We saw many locations that gave the university it’s reputation like the Corps of Cadets, Kyle Field, and a library filled with approximately five million books. After our tour, we drove close-by to the Texas A&M Warehouse, where we stocked up on Texas A&M swag including Aggies t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and sneakers. We finished our day by eating at a restaurant called Casa Rodriguez for a delicious Mexican dinner filled with chips, salsa, guacamole, tacos, and enchiladas. Our lively and exhausting day finally ended with satisfying street art that read “Feed me tacos and tell me I’m pretty”.

 

Gig 'Em Aggies!

- Emmy & Caroline N.

 

  • 2018

Today we began by going to the house for the first time. To begin ,we all grabbed rollers and paint brushes and began painting the interior of the house a beautiful blue color. This was very fun and at times, very messy!  We then had clean the brushes and bins, which was a very wet process. We were then able to talk with one of the home owners and learned about the process of the Habitat program. We then had lunch, where we ate chicken, mashed potatoes, bread rolls, and green beans.

After lunch, we began to do some junk-yard drumming! We used the old paint containers and some sticks with some students from Rice University who joined in. In the afternoon ,we scraped the floors, which was very hard! When we finished with that, we cleaned up and headed back to the Church.  

 

For dinner we went to Willie’s Ice House, where we tried crawfish! Then we went back to the Church, played some ping pong, and went to bed.

 

-Maisie & Alexis


 

 

 

  • 2018

Today was Rodeo Day! We started off the morning by driving all the way back to Houston to explore the rodeo, which is a 20 day event at the NRG Stadium. After a morning of shopping, buying weird socks, and eating saltwater taffy, we topped the early afternoon off by eating fried shrimp, smoked turkey legs, and burritos. We then made our way up to our seats inside of the stadium (we ended up in the nosebleeds!). After the National Anthem, complete with a prayer, fireworks, and a lit-up horse, we then began to watch the first competitions of rodeo. We saw mutton busting, barrel racing, and bareback horse riding. We then were treated to an amazing mariachi competition followed by a concert by Calibre 50. After an eventful trip using a rogue GPS, we made it back in time for a pizza dinner and then headed off to sleep.


 

 

  • 2018

At 4:00am on Saturday, ten Ethel Walker students and two chaperones met at Bradley International to embark on their trip to Texas. After a short trip to Newark, NJ, we all enjoyed ourselves by indulging in some pancakes and bagels before we had to get back on the plane for a 3 & 1/2 hour trip to Houston, TX. With another two hours in the car, we finally made it to College Station at the Methodist Church, the place where we will be staying for the next 6 days. We then made a trip to the local Walmart for food and some last minute essentials. Finally we headed for dinner at C + J Barbeque for a well deserved meal. We look forward to what the week has in store!


  • 2018