While most students spent their spring break relaxing on a beach or heading back home, one group of students at UCM used their time off to build a home for a family in need.
UCM Breakers is an alternative spring break group that dedicates each semester to raising money to travel and help out with Habitat for Humanity. This year, 26 students traveled to Fort Smith, Ark., to help build a house.
The Breakers raised a little more than $9,000 this year through concessions, pumping gas, bake sales, cleaning the Multipurpose Building, hosting a spaghetti dinner and more.
“We start at the beginning of school until the minute we leave,” said Shelly Hesselbein, senior and UCM Breakers president.
The funds they raise help pay the Habitat for Humanity fee, their food, gas, rental vans and supplies.
When they first got to Fort Smith, the students began building the walls, and then moved on to the other parts of the house.
“Then we started putting the trusses on the top of (the) roof so the next group could put the roof on,” said Julie Majerak, senior criminal justice major.
Although raising the walls and starting on the roof was an accomplishment, it wasn’t Hesselbein’s favorite part of the trip.
“The best part of always participating in these is meeting the family,” she said. “You get to see where all your hard work has gone, and I think that’s the most rewarding thing in the world.”
Hesselbein said the house is being built for a single parent who is raising five children in living conditions that are too terrible for words.
Not only do they help a family, the Breakers become close after a week of working together.
Majerak said her favorite part of the trip was making new friends. She said this was a nice way to end her Breakers career after participating for three years.
It was Hesselbien’s fourth and final year. She said she takes a lot of things from her experience.
“The gratitude I have is that I didn’t have to live in conditions like that,” she said. “That I had a family that’s not broken and that I had things provided for me that people take for granted.”
Click here for more stories by Shelby Bilbruck.