Day 4 -By Lauren Gillooly (sailing):
Our final day of work began with lots of snow shoveling to make the work site safe for construction. Once the grounds were cleared, the group was divided and assigned various tasks which included completing the second-story porch which we started on day 1, painting, and window framing and installations among other things. Despite the snow and cold temperatures, it was a beautiful day and the group got a lot accomplished. We were joined today by some of Habitat for Humanity's core volunteers, which consists of a group of retired men who show up every Monday to assist with construction. Their interesting stories and unconventional methods kept us entertained. Upon completion of the day's work, we returned to the Golden Hill Church to pack and clean up for the trip back to school. All in all, it was a great trip and the experiences put the opportunities afforded to us as student-athletes at Boston College into perspective.
Day 3 -By Lauren Gillooly (sailing):
Because Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization, we could not work today. Instead, we got together with some of the Habitat children and made pizzas and bowled in the church's original 1929 duck-pin bowling alley. Before the kids arrived a small group went with King's Pantry to distribute food to homeless people. Kings Pantry was started by a woman who, on her way to and from work, always drove under a bridge where homeless people would congregate. She decided to take action, and every Sunday when all the soup kitchens are closed, she delivers soup to anyone in need under the bridge at noon. After helping Kings Pantry distribute soup to over 50 people, we went back to the church where we were staying and collected all of our leftovers, bagged them up, and drove back to the bridge and handed them out. People swarmed our van and were extremely grateful for the extra food and treats that we gave them. When we returned from the bridge, the Habitat kids began arriving and we put our pizza-making skills to the test. While waiting for the pizzas to cook, we were entertained with a couple of rounds of catchphrase. After devouring 8 delicious pizzas, we ventured to the basement for duck pin bowling. We capped off another action-packed day with a relaxing dinner at P.F. Changs, which was a special treat after three days of hard work.
Day 2 - By Bob Dirks (field hockey) and Lauren Gillooly (sailing):
With heavy snow in the forecast, the conditions were not conducive to outdoor construction, so when we arrived at the warehouse, 1300 envelopes were waiting to be stuffed. After an hour of assembly line work, the job was completed, and we were reassigned to various prep tasks inside the warehouse. The group was divided again into several smaller teams, which worked together to prime and paint window frames, construct balcony railings, clean a habitat home, pick-up supplies from the lumber yard, and tidy the warehouse. Habitat project managers and core volunteers were entertained by our music selections.
Tonight we had dinner with BC alumnae living in the area who generously cooked us a delicious meal and delivered it to the church we are staying at. When dinner was over, we played a question game that helped each of the volunteers get to know each other more intimately. Exhausted from a long day of hard work, we are retreating to our air beds to watch some SNL re-runs.
Day 1 - By Carrie Amarante (sailing)
We arrived in Bridgeport late last night and after a tour and introduction to the church we are calling home for the next 4 days, we got some much needed rest.
Today we arrived at the habitat for humanity warehouse at 8:15 and met our project managers, Rich and Kevin, and the other volunteers. We were dispatched to our worksite on Williams St. in Bridgeport, CT. Habitat is re-furbishing a historic brownstone complex on Williams St into eight individual condo units.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization which provides affordable house to people in the community who demonstrate financial need and agree to donate 500 hours of service to the organization.
Upon arriving at the worksite, we were divided into two teams, which worked separately to build a second floor porch, assemble four story scaffolding, cut door frames, and ensure that the worksite was clean and safe. We were given a great amount of responsibility and learned a lot about the construction process.
It was extremely rewarding to see our tangible accomplishments at the end of the day. Additionally we had the chance to interact and work with some of the future homeowners who all have incredible stories. We look forward to having dinner with them later tonight