A group of 200 men, women and students come to Penns Grove to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build three houses between during the last two weeks of June.

Over 100 college students along with 45 adults came from Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Maryland to partner with Habitat for Humanity and build three homes from start to finish.

“When these kids got here it was all just dead trees and a burnt down shed,” said Sue Ann, executive director of Habitat for Humanity. “They built these houses in five days. From nothing, to three houses in five days.”

The group had five total work days and one day-off that they spent at a local park. The students undergo months of training on tools and construction site procedures in order to prepare for their trip.

Each year the church gathers a group of students for a High School retreat called Woodworks.

During the retreat the student’s erect houses from nothing but a foundation while attending programs to learn more about their faith. The group raised $60,000 for their trip in order to pay for food, travel and expenses. The community also came together to give donations such as an Ice Cream Truck for dessert one night.

The students were housed by St. Gabriel High School where they cooked their own meals and had special programs they took part in.

“This is our thirty-fifth year,” said congregation member Scott Wiley. “Every year we have a search process to pick the area we build in. This year we had about 16 close competitors.”

Penns Grove Mayor John Washington attended the last day service that was held at the construction site. He walked through the homes hand-in-hand with the students and thanked them for their support of his community. Habitat for Humanity provided them with final last meal at the high school and invited people from across the community to join them and wish them well on their journey home.

Original Article: https://www.nj.com/news/2019/07/maryland-church-partners-with-habitat-for-humanity-to-build-3-homes-in-5-days-in-penns-grove.html
Article By: Mackenzie Fitchett | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com