Stritch receives congressional recognition for students’ volunteer efforts

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 1:00:00 PM

A group of Stritch students spent their spring break rebuilding a house in Cumberland County, New Jersey, as part of the University’s annual collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat Group

25 students participated in the “alternative spring break,” along with Jenni Herrick, director of the center for student leadership and involvement, Jon Metz, director of campus ministry, and Dr. Barbara Spies, keystone chair and associate professor of communication arts.

The group received both local and national recognition for their work.

Mayor Ruben Bermudez declared March 5, 2013 to be Cardinal Stritch University Day in the city of Vineland, New Jersey. The students were also presented with a certificate of congressional recognition from U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo.

During their week in Cumberland County, the students worked with an onsite manager to paint and insulate the house, lay tiles and flooring, and install bathroom fixtures.

Herrick said that the entire experience was unforgettable. The hosts in Cumberland County took good care of everyone; setting up activities including a private concert and full access to a local restaurant where they made their own pizzas. The highlight, however, was meeting the family whose house the group rebuilt.

“It was incredibly rewarding, for all of us, to meet the people who live in this house,” said Herrick. “I don’t think we’ll ever forget that moment.”

The group recently held a “shareholders dinner” to thank family, friends, and community members who supported the trip. The program included this video, created by student Cassie Goulais, which showcases the group's work, as well some of the trip's lighter moments.

Herrick and Metz plan to continue Stritch’s work with Habitat for Humanity, possibly even returning to the same county next year.