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Habitat Rakes In Dough And Sets Off For Hawaii

Habitat for Humanity, an international organization that builds low-cost houses for families in need, can be found all over the globe. Berea's chapter, however, is leaving its mark in more ways than one.

Habitat for Humanity students hand over their check to Gina Chamberlain of Madison County.

The first accomplishment on the group's list this year is the matching grant they helped to attain for Madison County's Habitat for Humanity program. Through various fundraisers, BC's chapter was able to donate $2,000 on their own money, while American Express matched that amount, bringing the total to $4,000. Berea's group faced stiff competition, and only a few chapters were awarded with the matching grant. All of the money will be donated to Madison County's chapter to go toward the production of one of their low-cost homes. All of Madison County's Habitat homes are built for local families.

Berea College's Habitat group will also be taking their annual spring break service trip next week. This year, the group will be travelling all the way out to the island of Kauai, known as "the garden isle," in the Hawaiian islands. The trip was decided last October by members of the group.

"It was viewed as a challenge," said Oliver Bugariski, the group's coordinator. "No one else has done anything like this before and it is very unpopular to travel to Hawaii and do service."

Habitat volunteers, who will be building houses for local residents of the Aloha State, are looking forward to the cross-cultural experience that they are soon to encounter. The trip will not be all work and no play; students will have time off for sightseeing, including hiking and snorkeling. There will also be a 12-hour layover in Honolulu on their return home, affording them the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head.

Bugariski, who will be going on his fourth alternative spring break trip, expects that this project will have an impact on him. "I believe the experience will change me because alternative spring breaks shape me every time I take them," he said. "The experience changes my perception about the place I visit. It also helps me better understand the world I live in. No matter how much I learn in school, alternative breaks are designed to teach me from a real world point of view, so it is a new learning process every time."

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