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Students on floor decking of the house after arrival on March 11. Front row (left to right): Justin Legault, Theresa Schiotis, Samantha Fesciano, Nick Titley (team leader) and Nicole Immerso (team leader). Back row (left to right): Cassandra Sauveur, Zachary Ribert, Tierney Braden, Stephanie Rekemeyer, Joseph Lonergan and Jessica LaBarge.

For the last eight years students from State University of New York at Plattsburgh, have used their spring break helping other volunteers of GCHFH build houses for Greene County citizens in need of decent housing. This year 11 students arrived March 11 to help build the houses that will become the homes for Phong Choum and her three children and Evelyn Pope and her son. The homes will complete the Habitat village, New Horizons of Ludwig Place. The students are staying with Rosemary Slider for the week and will leave Friday, March 16.  

Each year during spring break, more than 11,500 students sign up to participate in Collegiate Challenge across the country. The program offers high school and college students year-round opportunities to use their vacations in service to communities by volunteering to build houses. SUNY of Plattsburgh has an 'Alternative Spring Break' program with several groups working, this week, from Canada to Georgia.  Habitat's Chairman, Theresa Kemp stated that: “We are blessed to have the students from Plattsburgh help us each year.  We know they have many other options on how to spend their Spring Break and are thankful that they choose to spend it helping our community.  They are always a terrific group of young people and are an inspiration to our partner families and volunteers.”  

The student-pipeline from New York to Georgia has been important to GCHFH's mission of eliminating substandard housing in Greene County. Russell Puppe, volunteer builder, stated that “We certainly appreciate their help and really enjoy their enthusiasm, energy, and willingness to learn construction skills.”  Volunteers who have worked with the students for the past eight years state that “The students accomplish a great deal while here and they can be proud of their work and the contribution that they make toward the betterment of Greensboro in general and the partner families, receiving the homes, in particular.  We volunteers learn as much from them as they learn from the experience.  They are terrific to work with and fun to be around.  We thank them for driving such a long distance to help us.”      

Greene County Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian organization working in partnership with the community and the future homeowners to provide decent, affordable, and safe housing for deserving families.  The organization believes that not only is family strength supported and improved by the quality of living conditions but the community benefits as well.  For more information contact Elaine Mathews at (706) 453-1718 or volunteer@gchabitat.com.

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