Helping Habitat

With their busy schedule of classes, practices, and homework done for the year, some Middlesex students find summer to be an ideal time to take on a significant volunteer commitment, like a Habitat for Humanity project. Accompanied by Community Service Director Amy Gleason, her Assistant Director Paul Torres, and math teacher Mara Vatz, six Middlesex students headed to upstate New York in June and worked for five days to get several new homes ready for eager families. Instead of concentrating on a single house (as another Middlesex group did for a 2009 Habitat assignment in Maine), the volunteers tackled a variety of tasks at sites in Newburgh, New York. “Habitat had built about 47 houses in the area,” explains Lindsey ’12, “and we worked mainly on four houses. We primed and painted a lot of doors – I was amazed at how many doors there are in a house!”

Organizing and taking a complete inventory of Habitat’s local warehouse was another necessary but formidable job, recalls Suz ’12, who probably preferred the day they spent moving one woman’s belongings into a newly finished home. “It was great to help families meet their goal,” Lindsey agrees.

From her involvement with technical theatre at Middlesex, Suz already knew she liked construction and painting, but the rewards of this trip compelled her to sign up to help the Habitat chapter near her home. Lindsey, too, would definitely recommend the experience, affirming, “I’d really encourage others to take part – to get to know other people and to understand and help fulfill the needs of another community.”

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