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Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003
Volunteers - Valdosta, Ga.

Kelsey Peterson is volunteering in Valdosta in the on-site media trailer.
'We never could have done it without them'
By Shawn Reeves

Without pre-JCWP contributions from at least one group, volunteers at the Valdosta site would have had a tough time getting their own efforts off the ground this week.

In March, 15 students and three faculty members from the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter at Valparaiso University in Indiana spent their spring breaks in Valdosta, Ga. Their charge? To build interior and exterior walls for 22 of the 25 houses that are going up this week. The students built the walls at the affiliate’s warehouse, and trucks later transported them to the build site.

“This is one instance when I can say, literally, that ‘we never could have done it without them,’” says Gwen Scott, affiliate director for development and communications.

The campus chapter has built five houses to date and is planning another for next year. It’s also hoping to participate next year in a Global Village trip.

Experiencing weather much like that at the start of this week, students arrived in Valdosta last March to a great deal of rain, which forced them to keep their building activity inside. But that didn’t diminish the experience, according to Kelsey Peterson, who participated in the Collegiate Challenge trip and has returned this week to volunteer in the on-site media trailer.

“We thought we’d be disappointed because of the weather,” she says, “but we ended up having tons of fun in the warehouse.”

With her return trip, Kelsey has enjoyed seeing house leaders and others she met for the first time back in March. She’s also happy for the opportunity to support the project … both then and now.


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