Students travel south for Spring Break philanthropy

Roxy Geier didn’t know how to install a roof on a home before she went on Spring Break.
But by the end of break, the junior elementary education major felt at ease on a rooftop and even had blisters from hammering many nails throughout the week.
“I was really scared to be on a roof at first,” she said. “But it was fine.”
Geier traveled to Miami, Fla. with the Bradley chapter of Habitat for Humanity. She was one of 45 students who attended, 33 of which were greek students.
President of the Bradley chapter of Habitat Pam Goerlich said the number of greek students that attended this year was probably a result of many Habitat executive board members also being involved in greek life.
The brotherly or sisterly connection helps others become motivated to help the organization, she said.
Geier said her connections through greek life got her interested in Habitat.
“I wanted something to do over break and get more community service hours for my sorority,” she said.
Sophomore dietetics major Courtney Reinertson, also a member of a greek organization, said Geier convinced her to go on the trip, and she’d do it again in a heartbeat.
“I felt like the greek community came together as a whole by working on this cause,” she said. “It shows how well we can work side-by-side. It was definitely a uniting experience. I felt proud of the greeks who decided to spend their Spring Break helping other people.”
The group traveled by bus to Florida, where they helped build houses in Homestead, a community southwest of Miami. They spent most of the weeklong trip building homes from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Geier said she was impressed that families receiving a Habitat-built home must put in 250 hours of work on the home themselves.
“I think that’s really cool,” she said. “They aren’t just getting it for free.”
Reinertson said the most inspiring part for her was when the group was able to meet the families that will receive the homes.
“That gave face to what we were trying to accomplish and made it much more meaningful,” she said.
Goerlich said the greek connection in the group didn’t stop Habitat from making a difference.
“We’re all there for a common purpose,” she said. “We’re there for Habitat.”