McNeese State University students give up their Saturday for Habitat for Humanity build

KPLC 7 News Nightcast - Feb. 16, 2019 - Habitat for Humanity

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A single mother of two will soon have a new home to call her own, all thanks to Habitat for Humanity Calcasieu Area and a group of students from McNeese State University.

While some college students spend their Saturdays sleeping or hanging out with friends, one group of students spent their day hanging sheet rock and putting up instillation.

“I always thought Saturdays were for service," said Morgan Smith, a senior at McNeese. “It’s good for young people like us to come out and learn things you don’t normally learn in a classroom.”

Saturday was the first community build project in 2019.

Smith said with a project like this one, he’s getting back just as much as he’s giving.

“I’m definitely learning as I go. I don’t have experience in this at all," Smith said. "This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this, so it’s kind of exciting to be learning some things from professionals.”

It’s that exact attitude that’s built Habitat for Humanity into the organization it is today.

“Habitat for Humanity started many years ago by a founder who had a vision that our local affiliates would be a collaboration between not just home owners, but volunteer from the community and the local government as well," said Ralph Williams.

Williams is the Board of Directors’ President for the Calcasieu Area Habitat. He says college students getting involved in builds reflects what the organization is all about.

“It gives me great hope for our future," Williams said. "Starting as volunteers, understanding the purpose of giving back to your local community, and growing with a work ethic as well.”

For Smith, he said just knowing what the end result of the build will be makes all the hard work going into it well worth it.

“It happens to people all the time. A lot of people don’t get a shelter, or they don’t get something to call their own home," Williams said. "So, to be able to come out here and be a part of this; it really makes a whole lot of difference to me.”

If you’re interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or donating, you can call their local office at 337-497-0129.

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