University students spend spring break with Sisters Habitat


Last updated 4/18/2023 at 6:18pm

Photo provided

Sam Humphreys, Sisters Habitat for Humanity construction manager, was lying down on the job last week - but it was just for a bit of fun with a hardworking crew of Gonzaga University students who spent spring break working on a Sisters Habitat house. Left-right: Raegan Bowyer, Allison Ruhl, Ashley Painter, Rosa Madden, Ketsia Kamarashauu, Isabella Adams, and Renne Richards.

Seven students from Gonzaga University out of Spokane, Washington spent their spring break in Sisters volunteering for Sisters Habitat for Humanity. Their visit was part of a nation-wide alternative spring break program called Collegiate Challenge.

Habitat's experienced construction crew took most of the first day to familiarize the students with safety protocols and introduced them to power tools and construction techniques. Then the all-women team built new roofs on storage sheds at the ReStore, and installed cabinets in a ClearPine townhome.

The community of Sisters embraced the students with open arms. The Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church provided shelter for students and a "Welcome to Sisters Potluck" the first evening; Sisters Park & Recreation District provided showers; and teams of dedicated Habitat volunteers provided lunch at the jobsite each day.

No strangers to volunteerism, most of the students have done volunteer projects all over the United States. One student has accepted a volunteer position in South Korea with AmeriCorps after graduation this summer. Gonzaga University helps match up students with groups in need of volunteers. The group that came to Sisters wanted to focus on affordable housing.

Team Advisor Renne Richards said that working on the Sisters Habitat projects was a "lot of fun and a great opportunity to gain skills we would not have otherwise. It was fun working with Sam (Humphreys, construction manager)!"

There were a wide variety of scholastic interests among the group. Majors included biology with a research emphasis; psychology; business management information with emphasis on entrepreneurism; philosophy; political science; environmental sciences; and organizing after-school programs for young children.

Sisters Habitat for Humanity greatly appreciated the help provided by the Gonzaga students and the assistance provided by the community.

"The students brought energy and enthusiasm to our program. It was a great week," said Humphreys.

For information about volunteering with Sisters Habitat for Humanity or applying for the homeownership program visit or call 541-549-1193.


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