GCC Fall Flower Sale: Raising Funds to Raise a House

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Gateway Community College Fairway was filled with mums and an array of hanging plants when the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Program held a Fall Flower Sale Monday, October 1. The funds raised helped on two fronts: so that GCC students can participate in an Alternative Spring Break program and a family can get a new home.  The Flower Sale on GCC’s Fairway or second floor bridge ran through the end of the week. Flowers also were sold in the Student Activities office.

Next Spring, a group of GCC students will spend their spring break with hammers and nail in hand, building a house for a family in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Maine as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge. They will join a team of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and students from colleges around the country. The flower sale is the first of a series of fundraisers to defray the cost of the trip which will be close to  $3,000.

The Office of Student Activities and Leadership Program’s Student Outreach Program Office and the Center for Service-Learning are leading the program.

“Service learning really matters,” said Roberta Prior, director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. “Our students will have the opportunity to learn about the political and social issues that impact the community they’ll serve.” Not only will students learn skills associated with building a house, they will also be immersed in a learning environment where, Prior said, “they can witness, engage with and reflect upon the problems faced by the community members.”

As part of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge, students will build, learn and live together in a community setting for that week. The students will work from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day during spring break building a house or improving existing housing structures or volunteering on other projects in the community and then they will make meals together at the end of the day. Prior said team building and developing leadership skills become part of the whole experience. She said there will be application process for all students interested in participating in Alternative Spring Break.

“This is going to be such an excellent opportunity for our students to be part of something very important,” she said.