DEFIANCE, Ohio - Instead of heading out on a typical spring break, seven Defiance College students put on work boots and tool belts in Huntsville, Ala., where they spent their break on a Habitat for Humanity construction build.
This year’s participants included Xavier Blyden, Bridgeport, Conn.; Robyn Boyd, Jamaica; Kiana Carpenter, Holmesville, Ohio; Emily Culler, Edgerton, Ohio; Emily Lambert, Delphos, Ohio; Tara Lymanstall, Defiance, Ohio; and Katarina Wicher, Toledo. They were accompanied by DC staff members Judy Lymanstall and Kerry Rosebrook.
The Defiance crew worked on a house in Huntsville for a young woman who lost her parents in an accident, and at age 25 is not only raising her own child but also her younger brothers and sisters.
DC students have been part of Habitat for Humanity for more than 20 years.
“They gave up time to relax with friends and family for a week of sweat and hard work in service to others,” said Judy Lymanstall. During these builds, students work side by side with various volunteers to help make a family’s dream of owning a home a reality. Students come away with a sense of accomplishment, new friends, newly-learned construction skills, and knowing that they have helped a family get a little closer to their dream.
Habitat for Humanity does not provide funding for travel, but it does assist in arranging for overnight accommodations. Students are traditionally housed in local churches. The cost of food, job site insurance, and Collegiate Challenge affiliate fees, rests solely upon students and fundraising efforts.
DC students raised funds this year through a variety of endeavors including a letter campaign to area construction companies, Sunday brunch at St. John United Church of Christ in Defiance, percentage of food sales at Buffalo Wild Wings in Defiance, support from Defiance College Student Senate, and community donations.
Sponsors who helped defray personal student expenses included Dilly Door Company, Kahle Design and Build Ltd., Kitchen Center and Baths, Higbea Embroidery, Hi-Tech Foundations - Riehle Construction, Rath Builders Supply Inc., Carole Thomas, Tri-County Roofing Inc., and Werlor, Inc.
Anyone who would like to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on a local build can contact the Defiance Habitat office at 419-782-2172 to add their name to the volunteer list. The current local project is a home for a local combat veteran and his family.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
Pictured left to right, front row, Tara Lymanstall and Emily Culler; second row, Bill Giardini of Habitat for Humanity, Robyn Boyd, Judy Lymanstall, Katarina Wicher, Kerry Rosebrook and Emily Lambert; and back row, Kiana Carpenter, Dan Pate of Habitat for Humanity, and Xavier Blyden.