This is a guest post by Stephanie Carvajal, AmeriCorps Member, Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade
The University of Scranton Women’s Crew Team, a group of 17 energetic and hard working women, packed into two fifteen passenger vans and made the 25 hour drive from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Miami, Florida to spend their Spring Break volunteering with the Miami-Dade affiliate of Rebuilding Together. The Women’s crew team has made it a team tradition to spend their spring break volunteering; each year dedicating their time to a different non-profit organization. In the past, the university would sponsor the team’s trip, but in recent years their funding has been cut, leaving the girls to fund the trip themselves. Through the generosity of Reverend Susan Keedy and the All Angels Episcopal Church in Miami Springs, FL, the team was given a place to stay free of charge. Once the team received the news that their housing would be taken care of, the team, armed with jars of peanut butter & jelly that had been donated by the university’s cafeteria, made their way down to Miami.
The team spent four days helping the Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade staff rehab two homes in the South Miami area. Both homes had interior renovations completed prior to the team’s arrival and were in need of exterior painting. The group did an excellent job on both homes with both family members and neighbors expressing how unrecognizable the homes looked. One homeowner, an elderly gentleman, who in recent years has suffered both a heart attack and stroke deeming him unable to walk on his own, asked his family to please help him outside of his home so he could see the work the team had done. The homeowner was so overjoyed with the work the team had done, he thanked each of the women individually.
“Having the opportunity to work with Rebuilding Together has been a truly remarkable and heartwarming experience. The hard work we put in pays off when we see how grateful the people we help are and to be able to help others is wonderful. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend Spring Break any other way. This has been an amazing opportunity that has helped us grow as a team and has helped me grow as a person” – Jessica Peterson, Class of 2016.