Inside Moravian
e-Newsletter of the Moravian College Campus Community 10/22/13
A group of volunteers carry a framed wall to a new location.

ABOVE: It doesn't matter what your skill level is, all students are welcome to join the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter.


Habitat’s Campus Chapter Builds Awareness During Homecoming

Before Jenn Leedom ’14 left on her first Habitat for Humanity spring break trip two-plus years ago, settling down in rural South Carolina for a week, hammers and nails were pretty unfamiliar tools. How unfamiliar? She lacked any real first-hand knowledge.

“I don’t even know if I touched a hammer before I joined,” recalls Leedom, now the president of the Moravian College Habitat for Humanity campus charter, which is affiliated with the Lehigh Valley Habitat for Humanity chapter. “My building skills were absolutely nonexistent.”

Yet her naivety didn’t stop her from undergoing what she called a “critical and life-changing” experience. “It really opened my eyes to how different people lived, and the fact that so many people need our help,” she says of the trip.

Leedom, members of the Habitat campus charter, and any students walking by unafraid of a little sawdust came together during the chapter's Oct. 4 build before Homecoming Weekend. This process involved framing out a house near the starting line of the Homecoming parade. Dianna Henao '15, the chapter’s vice president, stated that the build’s turnout was strong, with the framing completed ahead of schedule.

Jenn Leedom swings a hammer while standing on a platform. A handful of students work to frame a wall.

ABOVE: Jenn Leedom ’14 (right), president of the Moravian College Habitat for Humanity campus chapter, wields a hammer.

ABOVE: Because of a strong turnout, the Habitat for Humanity build on the Friday before Homecoming wrapped up early.

Just as in years past, the chapter will divide into two groups of 10 during spring break, venturing through the southeast United States to construct homes. Recent trips have included stays in South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida. One group often flies to its destination, while the other takes a van or bus to its build. Leedom, who has made road trips to Pickens and Sumter, S.C., during the past two years, says a camaraderie develops between the students before the first rest stop. 

The math and early childhood education major can still vividly recall her first trip to Pickens, a rural town in one of the least wealthy areas in the country. “It was really interesting because it didn’t seem that much different on the surface,” Leedom says. “When we got to meet the family and the other workers at the chapter, we heard about everything they had done and gone through. It was really quite inspiring.”

Witnessing the poverty and hardship of others convinced Leedom to be more involved in other community projects as well. For those interested in a similar experience, the Habitat campus chapter accepts members throughout the school year.

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