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News Release

Moravian College students spend spring break building houses for poor

17 Students work with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) – Seventeen Moravian College Students spent their spring break (March 6-14) in Rocky Mount, North Carolina building homes for Habitat for Humanity, a program created to build and improve homes for families that cannot afford to do it otherwise. Moravian students joined nine students from Providence College (Rhode Island) to build a roof and put up interior and exterior walls.

Student participants included Lindsay Barbara ’05, (Bethlehem, Pa.); Stephanie Beitler ’06, (Fogelsville, Pa.); Todd Bennett ’06, (Glen Gardner, NJ); Mojca Branc ’06, (Saylorsburg, Pa); Nicole Casola ’04, (Midland Park, NJ); Zachary Dimovitz ‘ 05, (Breinigsville, Pa); Rena Drezner ’05, (Levittown, NY); Amy Frantz ’06, (Bethlehem, Pa.); Kelly Haymaker ’05, (Hellertown, Pa); Christine Hrichak ’05, (Bethlehem, Pa.); Brianna Hurley ’06, (Kunkletown, Pa.); Aditya Khanna ’05, (Mumbai Mahashtra, India); Colleen Klaric ’06, (Newtown, Pa); Eric Kratz ’07, (Parsippany, NJ); Kate Strucek ’06, (Brielle, NJ); Esther Tutella ’06, (Blandon, Pa); and Jill Woodbury, (Lanoka Harbor, NJ). For many, this was their first experience with Habitat for Humanity.

“We doubled the number of students who went on this trip last year,” said Phyllis Walsh, Coordinator of Community Service. “All of the students who went last year went again this year. We had a diverse group of students. They were different majors, different ages, and different religions, but they all came together for a common cause.”

Senior Nicole Casola, who went on this trip last year, said, “My Habitat for Humanity experience was amazing, both because we were offered the unique opportunity to build a house with our own two hands, something that is rarely an option, and because we had the opportunity to touch someone’s life in a way that was real and special. It is amazing to think that we were helping to provide a basic need for someone in need.”

The students were joined by four Moravian faculty and staff members including college chaplain David Bennett; Timothy Poirier, assistant director of learning services; Kristen Orgera, assistant director of alumni relations; and Dr. Joanne Dangelmajer-McKeown, associate professor of French.

“I was really impressed by the fact that more than 17 students would give up their spring breaks to participate in this program,” said Dangelmajer-McKeown. “Personally, I don’t at all regret having given up that week; this was an opportunity that I would have hated to miss. Working with colleagues and students, some of whom had had no prior experience in construction, was both humbling and exhilarating. This experience helped me as well as the others to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives that we take for granted.”

Students worked Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with one afternoon to go sight seeing and participate in local events. Students paid a fee to help with the cost of supplies, insurance, transportation, and lodging. This year, students were also responsible for supplying their own meals.

Moravian is currently in the process of starting a Habitat for Humanity chapter on campus. “We had so many students interested in this trip that there was a waiting list,” said Walsh. “With the fifty to sixty students interested in Habitat for Humanity, we have enough to start a permanent chapter on campus and help with building projects all year long.”

For more information or to make a donation for the next Habitat for Humanity trip, please contact Phyllis Walsh at 610-861-1602 or pwalsh@moravian.edu.