Volunteers from LCCC, area devote weekend to fixing up Habitat house in Vermilion
By Drew Scofield
Ad Manager

Students in a partnership with Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and the Habitat for Humanity worked to help rehab a house in Vermilion for a family in need on March 31 and April 1.  Elizabeth Spencer, a tourism management student, along with several others from her Conference Management class at LCCC chose to work with Habitat for Humanity for their term project in Professor Maria McConnell’s class.

Mika Timura, LCCC student volunteer, fills a bucket for some much needed housecleaning for the property. Drew Scofield|The Collegian

Spencer contacted Kelly LaRosa, the regional Director of Habitat for Humanity with the idea.  LaRosa worked with SIFE to have flyers put up around LCCC to help advertise the event.  SIFE lent several tables to Spencer and her classmates to help them with a bake sale they planned to help raise funds for the event.  The bake sale was held at Applebee’s, along with a candy sale where they sold candy bars at $1 a piece.
Spencer contacted local stores such as Lowes and Home Depot, and those stores donated materials to help with the project.  A total of $840 was raised, along with materials needed for the project.

The house they worked on is a small three-bedroom home in Vermilion.  The house was built seven years ago by Habitat for Humanity for low-income families.  Habitat has 40 such houses in the area that they have built since 1988.  The students were in charge of working on such things as sanding, spackling, taping windows, painting, and rototilling the yard in front of the house for a small flowerbed.

Andrew Spencer, LCCC student volunteer, cleans up leaves in preperation for mowing the lawn. Drew Scofield|The Collegian

The event gathered support not only from local businesses but from other schools as well, with students from Oberlin College such as Luz Guzman lending a helping hand.  Girl Scout Troop 172, led by Melissa Novak, also stopped by to help out working on the house, with the girls helping to plant a flowerbed in the front yard.

The rehab house project is one of several programs Habitat for Humanity has open to volunteers in the area.   The home rehabs are done on houses that are donated to Habitat for Humanity by lenders or the city where the house is located. The program is called “A Brush With Kindness” which is a home-owner occupied program where the resident helps with exterior painting, landscaping and minor repairs on the house.  Habitat for Humanity also has a program called “Home Owner Education” which educates people about mortgages.

Spencer, currently not a member of SIFE, said that he plans to join the student program at LCCC due to their involvement with the project and the experience that it provided.