Haverford Students Bring "HOAP" to Communities During Spring Break
During the second week of March (March 7-16,) they will be part of the College's Housing Outreach Action Program (H.O.A.P.), traveling to building sites and communities across the country to participate in construction work or other essential community-building projects. This year, four groups are making trips to sites in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama.
The West Virginia and Statesville, N.C. projects are affiliated with Habitat for Humanity; students in these groups will assist in building homes for low-income families. Other students will be in Birmingham, AL, helping Urban Ministries restore local houses. At St. Lawrence Place in Columbia, S.C., a community of transitional housing for homeless families, a group of students will perform a variety of duties: painting, lawn maintenance, gardening, moving furniture, preparing apartments for new families, and playing with and tutoring the children after school. They will also be part of a lunch buddy system, in which they will be paired with children from the local elementary school to eat lunch with them for the week.
Haverford students who sign up for the H.O.A.P. trips hail from all across the country and all areas of study, but they are united in their desire to give back to the community.“The program has a definite mission to educate us on conditions of substandard housing, and showing us how to be proactive in alleviating these conditions,” says Lindsay Dunne, a third-year student from Gladstone, N.J., who is going to Statesville.
H.O.A.P. is run by 8th Dimension, the College office that coordinates student volunteerism. This year, 70-75 students applied to be part of the spring break projects; spaces are allotted for no more than 60 participants. Throughout the year, group leaders and program organizers raise money for the trips through activities like candy sales and Valentine's Day rose sales.