Students build houses and hope

Linfield students, staff and faculty are helping construct affordable housing for people in our community and across the nation. VIDEO

During Linfield’s Alternative Spring Break, volunteers dedicated their time and energy in New Orleans, Tacoma and Portland. They met with government officials, residents and housing advocates to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of affordable housing, along with a new perspective about our nation’s working poor.

“At first I regretted giving up my spring break, but then I realized that I wasn’t giving up anything at all,” says Colleen Gillmore ’13. “Instead, I gained the best spring break I could have ever asked for. I honestly feel like I gained more than I gave.”

Focusing on rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans team completed floor joists, decking and framing for a Habitat for Humanity home in the city’s hard-hit 17th Ward. They also stocked the food pantry and clothing closet, and planted a community garden.

The Tacoma, Wash., team worked alongside Habitat homeowners to help construct four homes, and the Portland team served more than 1,500 meals to homeless individuals, putting a human face on the complex issue of homelessness.

In its seven year history at Linfield College, Alternative Spring Break has mobilized more than 140 student volunteers who volunteered 6,662 hours of meaningful service to non-profit organizations.


Community Engagement and Service at Linfield College