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Collegiate Challenge: Spring Break 1998

Students Put Down Books, Pick Up Hammers

Americus, Ga. - February 17, 1998 - More than 7,000 college and high school students nationwide are preparing to take a break from the academic rigors of the classroom to help those in need. As spring break approaches, these students are getting ready to join Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge.

Collegiate Challenge: Spring Break ‘98, running from Feb. 15 through Apr. 11, is designed to give students on break a unique opportunity to build homes in a spirit of faith, partnership and community.

That spirit of neighbor helping neighbor inspired Maxwell House Coffee Co. to sponsor the 1998 Collegiate Challenge. This sponsorship is an outgrowth of a larger commitment from Maxwell House, the “Build a Home America” national volunteer initiative. Through a $2 million donation, Maxwell House will build 100 Habitat homes in 100 weeks. In addition to that program, Maxwell House is providing funding that will help defray a variety of administrative costs for the student program.

Of her 1997 Collegiate Challenge experience, a student from the University of North Dakota said: “This week has given me an outlook of hope, of working together building not just houses–but futures and communities.” Like the estimated 30,000 other college and high school students who have participated in the Collegiate Challenge since 1990, she found that the lessons of her formal education did not always provide the sense of perspective and meaning she gained through the Collegiate Challenge experience of service-learning.

Collegiate Challenge is a year-round program coordinated by the Campus Chapters and Youth Programs Department of Habitat for Humanity International. The program, which attracts the most students during spring break, offers students from across the country the experience of working alongside homeowners and other volunteers to build homes from the foundation up.

Over the next eight weeks, students from over 350 schools will travel to more than 140 different locations in the United States including Miami, Fla.; Lynchburg, Va.; and New Orleans, La. to build homes. In addition to their labor, students will contribute some $600,000 to help affiliates with their house-building, life-changing work.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. It works in partnership with people in need, building simple, decent shelter that is sold at no profit, through no-interest mortgages. With affiliates around the globe, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 60,000 houses, sheltering more than 300,000 people.