Sixty-seven NIU students and alumni donated almost 1,000 hours of their 2014 spring break time to non-profit organizations in Pensacola, Fla.
These volunteers enriched the lives of residents in the community, built lifelong friendships and proved that NIU students and alumni truly strive to be contributing members of the global community
NIU volunteers worked primarily with the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, which provides affordable housing to families in dire need of a safe living space. They spent close to 800 hours throughout the week building two houses for families in need.
Participants also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, a non-profit organization that provides families with children in the hospital a low-cost place to stay, eat and recharge while their loved ones are receiving the critical care that they need. To assist in that mission, NIU volunteers cooked four meals for the families and helped reorganize the food pantry to prevent foods from expiring before being used.
NIU students and alumni also volunteered at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. They spent a day bagging oysters that will be used to create reefs along the Florida coast to deter shoreline erosion and promote biodiversity and sustainability in the area.
“Taking part in HAB helped me see a new aspect of the world and new ways to volunteer in areas other than Illinois,” said Brooke Buttacavoli, a freshman Community Leadership and Civic Engagement major. “HAB has led me to other volunteer opportunities on campus that I probably would have never known about, as well as new organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, which I love now and can’t wait to volunteer with them again!”