Local News

3/8/2013

Spring breakers give a helping hand

By SARAH LUNDGREN The Brunswick News

For most college students, spring break means just that - a break. It's an opportunity to hit the ski slopes, frolic on the beach or just relax at home.

That's not the case for Carrol Lorette and 13 of her fellow students at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.Va.

The 22-year-old senior is spending her last college spring break helping others.

This is the fourth consecutive year she's returned to Brunswick for Alternative Spring Break, a community service program where students like Lorette can assist organizations such as the local Habitat for Humanity.

"We all just love to come down and help. It's rewarding not just for the families but for us as well, especially when we see how we're able to help do more than just build," Lorette said.

As she assists with measuring and cutting of boards for a Habitat home on Blain Street, Lorette thinks about more than just what she and her friends are able to physically accomplish.

"There are several of us who've come back all four years of college. The stories behind the families are really what brings us down. They tell us so much," Lorette said.

The West Virginia Wesleyan group has had an opportunity to meet some of the students who volunteer from College of Coastal Georgia, which has also partnered with Habitat for Humanity and the visiting college.

Lorette says she is happy to interact with others who volunteer.

"It's great to see people our age wanting to do this, to work and get involved with these opportunities," she said.

By Thursday afternoon, Lorette and the group had already made a significant impact on two homes on Blain Street, including the entire addition of siding to one and a complete inside paint job on the other.

College of Coastal Georgia students will work through April, even after others are gone, to complete Habitat homes, which include the structures at 2491 and 2501 Blain St. in Brunswick.

John Cornell, director of marketing and public relations for College of Coastal Georgia, hopes more institutions will see opportunities to visit the area and join in the college's service efforts.

"We live in a pretty special place but sometimes we forget that and it's good to give back. And if you're from somewhere else, Brunswick and the Golden Isles aren't only a great place to go for spring break but there (are) opportunities to help," he said.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.