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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Activities & Organizations

Students help Habitat for Humanity to close out CAB


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Students ended the Community Action Break by helping organize Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore facility Friday afternoon. | BreeAngela Hamilton/The Cougar.

The Center for Student Involvement partnered with Habitat for Humanity to close out this year’s Community Action Break program Friday afternoon.

CAB gives students an alternative to conventional spring break activities while also offering them a chance to make a difference in their community.

“The first four years (of college) I went to South Padre and Panama,” psychology senior Ja’Lissa Iles said. “I’ve never volunteered during spring break and wanted to try something new.”

Several students spent their Friday volunteering at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore center, a home improvement store that provides low-income families with discounted new and used furniture, appliances and building materials.

“Working with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has given students a chance to understand that there is more to (the organization) than building homes,” CSI site leader and mathematics senior Myles Parnell said.

The center, located on 6161 South Loop East, is understaffed and relies on volunteers to assist with store operations.

“Our volunteers are very important,” warehouse assistant Qiana Law said. “Any help means a lot to us.”

ReStore also strives to support the community through other means, like volunteering at other events and gatherings in the Houston area, Law said.

Volunteers were assigned tasks like creating a showroom space with tables, chairs and cabinetry that customers could walk through easily.

“This program offers (students) a chance to get out of their comfort zone (and) do things they’re not usually used to doing,” public relations junior Alexandria Taylor said. “I think people will appreciate our time and effort. Just any little thing that you do helps.”

Students breezed through other tasks like pricing office chairs and ceiling fans, as well as designing product displays.

“It’s a good way for students to be introduced to community work, involvement and just being good stewards of their community,” Parnell said. “As college students, we’re so privileged. We’re given so much. A lot of times, we are so wrapped up in campus life that we don’t really venture out and explore the area around us.”

ReStore’s manager mentioned the direct correlation between an organized sales floor and increased efficiency.

“We’re a nonprofit organization, so anything that we make goes toward helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity,” Law said.

Though many students weren’t expecting to work with ReStore, and others didn’t realize that Habitat for Humanity had a store, they found something positive to take away from the experience.

“Though it wasn’t what I expected, I learned from this experience,” Taylor said. “You don’t have to be homeless to need help.”

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