Indiana students share build experiences

In October, students, faculty and staff from Indiana University in Bloomington joined forces with Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County and Whirlpool, a national partner of Habitat for Humanity International, for the third annual IU/Whirlpool Blitz Build. Whirlpool sponsored the home, which was built by IU volunteers across from their football stadium then moved to its permanent location.

Student volunteer Kristyn Crawford

I have had the privilege of working with Habitat on the IU Blitz Build for the past three years; it has truly been an amazing experience that has inspired me to get involved with multiple volunteer organizations in college. In my previous Habitat experiences, I had worked on the home during the final stage of construction, completing tasks such as caulking, installing blinds and putting up baseboards. I was ready for a challenge this year, so when they asked who wanted to work on the roof, my hand shot up before processing what this really meant.

Next thing I knew, I was staring out at the stadium from 10 feet off the ground. I contemplated climbing right back down. However, when I looked down and saw the Kell family working hard beside all of the volunteers, I remembered the reason I was there and put aside my fear of heights.

I found I really enjoyed laying the base for the shingles and had a wonderful afternoon bonding with my fellow volunteers on the roof. I realized that part of what makes volunteering with Habitat so rewarding is learning new skills and confronting challenges along the way. At future Habitat builds, I will take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities for growth and fulfillment that building homes has to offer!

Student volunteer Kelsey Hoey

I’ve volunteered with the Blitz Build on campus all three years we’ve had it, adding more and more shifts every year because I couldn’t get enough. I had no construction experience going into that first build, but the staff and volunteers know what they’re doing and are so helpful. I can now add putting a floor down, making window frames and walls, caulking, painting and power tool use to my list of talents.

I volunteered the first, second and last day of this build in October and really got to know the staff and volunteers and could tell how passionate these people are. They even let me lead a training session (with their supervision, of course) on building wall frames.

I worked the very first shift and went to the dedication ceremony for Ashley and Doyle 10 days later. At the dedication, Ashley mentioned that she had always dreamed of living in a house and was so excited that their 3-year-old daughter Hailey would have a yard to play in.

I can’t think of anything more fun and rewarding than helping Habitat achieve their vision: a world where everyone has a decent place to live.