Students, faculty, and staff from St. Petersburg College’s Midtown and Downtown Campuses helped make a difference for some Tampa Bay families on Sept. 22 when they dedicated a day to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Pinellas in Clearwater.
The build included two houses right next door to each other, and students had the opportunity to see a finished Habitat home across the street.
The Habitat staff were happy to see St. Petersburg College students, as they were short on volunteers that day. Staff also helped support students as they learned how to use the tools of the trade. They worked with them, showing them step-by-step how to get the job done.
“Students were shoulder to shoulder building a house,” said Tara Newsom, one of the faculty on site. “From nail guns to insulation, SPC helped literally put up the walls of a home, readying it for a new family to start a new life.”
Students originally planned to help Habitat Pinellas as part of the 9/11 Day of Service, but were forced to reschedule by Hurricane Irma. The day is one of three annual days set aside for giving back to the community. The college also encourages students, faculty, and staff to volunteer for Martin Luther King Day and on Nelson Mandela Day.
“SPC students have a culture of service. They are community leaders, mothers, fathers, and committed neighbors. Students take time out of their busy lives because it feels good to do good,” Newsom said.
St. Petersburg College student Diego Martinez was one of ten students who volunteered for the build. He said that working with Habitat was a wonderful experience, and that he learned a lot from the Habitat for Humanity Pinellas staff.
“By volunteering, you create a sense of a more unified community by giving, contributing and helping other people,” Martinez said.