’Berg blitz: Students assemble walls for two Habitat homes

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Third-year Heidelberg University students work Monday morning in the parking lot of Krieg Hall and the MCC to participate in a HYPE Career Ready Blitz Build for the Seneca County and Wood County chapters of Habitat for Humanity.

As part of Heidelberg University’s HYPE Career Ready Program, third-year students spent the morning and afternoon Monday in a “blitz build” for two Habitat for Humanity projects.

This is the first year Heidelberg has put this project together for the HYPE program, Paul Sittason Stark, director of Religious Life and Civic Engagement at Heidelberg, said.

“I was just so proud of our students,” Stark said. “Many of them were wondering, ‘How do we even begin?’ and by the end of the day, they had learned new skills that will be helpful in future volunteer endeavors as well as helping themselves.”

Students built 84 walls for the two projects.

“I think this experience reinforced the value of service and giving to others and the community,” Stark said.

The HYPE program helps prepare students to bridge the gap between academics and life skills. Life skills the program focuses on are values, work styles, job search skills, communication and collaboration, conflict management.

The program does this by inviting speakers to campus and having students engage in common experiences. First-year students go to Hocking Hills and second year students participate in an etiquette dinner.

Jacqueline Sironen, director of Student Engagement and the HYPE Career Ready Program, said it is projects like this that help make individuals the most successful by getting involved in their communities.

“This is change they can see,” Sironen said.

Students worked with Seneca County and Wood County chapters and the Help Build Hope organization. There were 30 teams of up to eight students who worked together to build the frames of two homes. There will be about 238 students who will be working on the two projects.

The home in Seneca County is to be at 276 Third Ave.

The project consisted of volunteers working from piles of pre-cut wood to build the walls from blueprints. Once the walls are completed, they are to be loaded on a truck and delivered to the home site.

The Wood County project is to be put together completely for the students to be able to see their final project.

Stark said there has been a good, positive response from the students who he said were excited to participate in this project.

Heidelberg collaborated with Republic Lumber Co. to obtain lumber for the blitz build. These materials were provided by the Cole Family Foundation — Heidelberg Trustee Charlie Cole and his wife, Patty — which provided a gift to HYPE for the project.

Also, Stark said Heidelberg will donate $20,000 toward the project for materials, a donation to the Help build Hope organization and to Habitat for Humanity. The Sue and Ralph Quellhorst Endowment for Student Community Service also funded two student positions to help coordinate the build last year and this year. This, according to Stark, was to help Heidelberg continue to build its relationship with Habitat for Humanity.