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Boston College students help build local Habitat project

Mar. 04, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Delia Ridge Creamer gave up fun and the sun for a spring break with hammers, nails and perhaps a little paint as she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Huntington.

The freshman was among 14 Boston College students who spent Monday constructing a house at 1829 9th Ave. It is part of a nationwide Habitat for Humanity program called Collegiate Challenge.

Creamer, 18, of Boston, arrived on scene Monday to a cinderblock foundation. By 10:30 a.m., she was amazed with progress her group had made toward framing the home's first floor.

"I could go on vacation anytime in my life," she said. "I'm so excited just to be here and be in this environment."

The students' time will help provide a home for Gloria Green, a disabled woman already living nearby. Student leader Kimberly Curtis said her group hopes to frame the house this week, weather permitting. They also plan on painting another home nearby.

"It's an adventure," said Curtis, a 22-year-old senior from Drexel Hill, Pa. "We're learning new skills. I've gotten pretty good at drywalling over the past couple of years, but now we're learning to frame. It's something new every year."

Curtis' partner in leading the trip is Marcus Bauer, 20, of Nashville. This also marks his third trip with Habitat for Humanity. He appreciates being able to meet new people in different communities each year.

"I just think it's such a rich experience," he said. "A week on the beach is nice, but I think a lot of the experiences I've had, and hopefully this one, is something that will make an impression on me and stick with me for a lifetime."

The week marks the 11th year the local Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Boston College through Collegiate Challenge, according to Nikki Hagerman, the agency's local family services coordinator. The city marked the occasion by welcoming the group with an official proclamation from Mayor Steve Williams.

For the past 24 years, Collegiate Challenge has involved more than 208,000 students in spending their school breaks to volunteer across the country, donating more than $20 million to Habitat affiliates.

Follow Curtis Johnson via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD and http://facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD

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