By: Chelsea Oliver
Senior Staff Editor
Over the winter break, The Griffins @ Work club went on their annual “Alternative Break” trip to Pittsboro, NC. As a senior who has gone on every trip since freshman year, I was very disappointed when I came to the realization that I would not be able to make the trip this year during winter break.
I have been going on at least one mission trip every year since I was thirteen. Mission trips were always my way of combining my love for helping others, traveling and meeting new people into one. In the past eight years, I have been on 12 trips in six different states. The experiences have never ceased to amaze me and have never once been the same.
When I went on the past three trips with the Griffins @ Work club for Habitat for Humanity, sometimes even with the same people from the year before, the experience was never the same. The lessons learned, stories told, car games played and overall memories have always turned out differently in the end. So even though my first trip with SHU was to Pittsboro, NC, I was disappointed to miss the opportunity to have completely different experiences on a return trip.
If you don’t know, SHU’s Habitat crew has quite the reputation. The “SHU CREW” is know for getting the job done quickly and correctly the first time. My freshman year, our crew finished one house and finished the all of the framing on another. Sophomore year, we finished a roof and floor of a house in a day and a half; Frakes, KY had never seen anything move that quickly before and had to keep finding us odd jobs to do around town. Last year, we painted the entire inside and outside of a house and almost finished all of the interior work.
But it wasn’t how much we got done; it was how many people we could help. When you go on a SHU Habitat trip you gain a mentality to not only go on a trip to have fun and learn some handy things, but to change lives and end up back on this hill with your life turned upside down. Being a part of the SHU CREW gives you a sense of pride, but also a sense of grace that overpowers that pride and gives you the ability to love and give openly without hesitation.
This year, the crew was able to make a trip to see the place we built four years ago. I think if I went with them I would have stood in front of those homes and cried. That moment, to me, would have symbolized an ending or completion to the work I’ve been able to help with in the past years. But our work is never completed.
As long as there are people without a roof over their head or food in front of them, there is a reason for you to volunteer some of your time to help them out. Habitat is just one way to get involved. Find a way to make a difference. From my experience, I’ve learned that SHU produces the greatest volunteers…live up to that statement.
As for those who were able to attend this year’s trip: Darren, Laura and Ben – I’m glad you were there to carry on the traditions, I hope you found a lot of yellow cars and crossed a lot of lines. And for Dr. Hoover, Dr. Atkinson, Ashley, Emily, Catherine, Holli, Giannina, Kellie, Amanda, Julia and Kayliegh…welcome to the crew.