Coe College - Center for Community Engagement


Amanda Hovind – ASB (Alternative Spring Break) Volunteer

Amanda Hovind – Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break Volunteer

Psychology & Physical Education Major at Coe College

Class of 2015

Amanda (left) & Amy Hurd (right)

How was the trip?  

“It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. It’s definitely one of the highlights that I’ve experienced here at Coe College. It was way better than I ever could have expected it would have been.”

Why did you decide to go on the Habitat Alternative Spring Break trip?

“It was my first Alternative Spring Break. I have friends who have done it in the past, so that’s what got me to think about doing it. So, then I tried it. I was even having second guesses before, because I didn’t really know what to expect from it. I didn’t know if I’d have a fun time. Working eight hours a day sounded like a lot to do on a spring break, but every day flew by, and by the time it was over, I was like, can we start the whole week again?It was awesome.

I did a one-day build back in October, but that was just one eight-hour day. That was pretty much the only experience I’d ever had. It definitely helped make my decision. The day build was really cool. Seeing how much you can accomplish is awesome. The homeowners were there too, and it’s always really cool when you get to see them. It kind of reaffirms what you’re doing and confirms for yourself that you really are making a difference. Sometimes it feels like you’re not really making a difference, but when the homeowners are there and they keep thanking you, you can see that to them you’re making a huge difference in their life.”

What was your favorite part of the trip?

“Seriously, everything was just so awesome. It was really awesome being able to meet more Coe students and really develop good friendships through that. There were people who I never really hung out with outside of school or anything. So, being able to meet new people, and now we’re still good friends. We still hang out now. So, that was really cool. Being able to spend spring break with people who have the same values as you was really awesome. Like, we were with people who have the same goals for spring break. We all wanted to get something out of it. We all wanted to spend a week helping people. That was really cool too. All of our van rides were fun. We got four free boxes of Dunkin Donuts. Everything was just so much fun. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much within a week.


Habitat for Humanity ASB Group Photo

It definitely helped with fitness. It was cool being able to learn new skills. Like, when I was hammering on the first day, I think I hit the nail one out every five attempts. By the end, I was like, dude, I could build myself a tree house.”

What did you work on during the trip?

“The day we got there, the group before us had the foundation set up. So, when we got there, we pretty much worked on building and framing all the exterior and interior walls, and by the time we built that house, we had every wall put up. When we first like built the walls up from the ground, we helped set up the walls, and hammer in the walls. It was cool seeing the before- and after- pictures. That’s really cool to see.

It was really cool seeing all of our hard work. I mean, everybody had a job to do. There really wasn’t much standing around. After you do the individual boards, you have to put those together, and make the wall, and set up the wall. Each individual has their own role that they’re playing.

It definitely doesn’t really feel real. It didn’t feel like much work. It was more fun if anything. I was like, man, I want to go build some more houses. I wish I was still down there helping out. It was really cool.”

Kohawks leave their mark the the home-build.

Why should someone get involved with Habitat?

“It gives you learning skills that would be useful down the road, like, if you ever want to build your kid a tree house or build your own house. It really teaches you the value of hard work and you’re working for a really great organization, and it’s really great to be part of something bigger than yourself, and it teaches you that you don’t really have it that bad. It teaches you that you’re fortunate for what you have. It’s really cool to learn the homeowners’ stories and how far they’ve come, and I always think that’s really cool. It gives you a new perspective on life. It’s a really great way to meet new people and make new friends.”

What was your biggest challenge on the trip?

“There was an inside joke about getting the nail flushed, and Amy and I struggled with that a bit. So, now that’s like the “f” word that we hate the most, and now when I hear that word I’m like, ugh, gotta get that flushed. It’s so the nail is like flat with the board. One time a girl put up a board and we weren’t done with it yet, so we had to redo it, and it took another fifteen minutes, and I was hungry, and I was hot.

But really, I thought everyone really did a really good job at just dealing with everything. There were a lot of students on the site, so I guess one challenge was – if you didn’t really have a job, just trying to think of what to do; telling yourself that you are making a difference; keeping yourself positively motivated about that, and when you’re getting tired, keep telling yourself that you’re helping someone.”


Comments are closed.