A group of 11 high school students visiting from Simsbury, Connecticut, lent a hand building a home for a Seguin family during their Spring Break.
Volunteers from The Ethel Walker School worked from last Tuesday to Saturday on Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity’s 30th home, to be owned by Bianca Muñoz and her daughter Zerenity Garcia, 8.
Their work means the house is now one month ahead of schedule, Madeline Zwicke, executive director of Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity said.
“On Tuesday when they came out, we just had a slab,” she said. “It’s phenomenal. They’ve actually sped up production on this home by about a month in just four days.”
The students helped raise the walls, Zwicke said.
“Our construction supervisor, Frank Rangel, he said they had a record time set putting up the walls,” she said. “I think it took 11 hours total to get everything set up.”
Muñoz praised the work the students had done.
“It’s just amazing,” she said. “I was excited that they came. They’ve done so much work the whole week. I can’t believe how much work they’ve gotten done.”
Raising the walls meant the house was taking form, and Muñoz could now see which rooms were which.
“I see the whole house and I see where everything is supposed to go now. It’s amazing,” she said. “I started crying the other day because it is so beautiful.”
With the house one month ahead of schedule, Muñoz and her daughter could be in the home before July, something Zerenity said she was excited about.
“The house is beautiful,” she said. “My birthday is after and I’m going to have my party here.”
Emmy Vitali, 18, said she enjoyed working on the home and hoped the work she and her classmates had done made a difference.
“Bianca and Zerenity are both very awesome, and I hope that they remember all of the work that we’ve done here,” she said.
Sam Woolf, 17, said meeting the family was her favorite part of the experience.
“It’s one of the best parts of this type of work,” she said. “We’re here building a physical house, but in the end, it will become a home to them where they can make memories.”
Emmy also praised the Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity volunteers. She said they had been helpful and supportive during their visit.
“It’s a very encouraging and motivating environment that we’re working in,” she said. “We’re high school girls and you would think that a lot of people would have doubt, but they believe in us and they teach us how to do all the work and they’re right by our side.”
The Ethel Walker School has worked with Zwicke and helped with Habitat for Humanity builds for seven years in Texas. When she moved to Seguin from College Station, they decided to move with her, and this was their first time in the city.
Sam said volunteering for Habitat for Humanity was a good experience and encouraged other high school students to give it a try.
“I think 100% if they’re able to come out and do it, it’s so great,” she said. “We came all the way from Connecticut, and if you’re in Seguin it is a great opportunity, you’re so local. It’s so much fun and you learn a lot of new skills.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit the Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity website at www.guadalupevalleyhabitat.org .