Students to swing hammers during break


Special to The Hays Daily New

Twelve students at Fort Hays State University are saying goodbye to drinks in Cabo and hello to hammers and nails this spring break.

Tigers in Service has arranged an alternative spring break for students to help with Habitat for Humanity in Omaha, Neb. The students, set to leave Tuesday, will have an opportunity to help build a house and give back to the community with their services.

They will be staying in a local church a few miles outside of Omaha and "roughing it," sleeping on the floor. They will return Friday.

Tigers in Service Director Amanda Herrman, a Maize sophomore, said she spent numerous hours researching and calling to find a place where FHSU students could volunteer during spring break.

"I start researching different areas for service projects, and Habitat for Humanity really jumped out at me from last year," Herrman said. "There are so many places to volunteer, but so many other schools take many people and volunteer, so you have to keep digging and digging."

Volunteers do not need special skills to go on the trip, she said. Habitat for Humanity volunteers from the Omaha area teach every person the proper ways of building. Herrman said it will be a great learning opportunity and gives first-hand experience with active instruction.

"Not many times can you find somewhere where you can volunteer and learn at the same time, but most of the helpers are Vista people from AmeriCorps, so they teach you everything, even how to hammer a nail into a board," Herrman said.

This is not the first alternative break Fort Hays students have had the option to go on. Last winter break, 22 students helped build and restore houses in Louisiana.

"The winter break trip was the first one I got to go on in college, and, honestly, once you go -- once you've changed -- you want to keep on going and not giving up," Herrman said.

Tigers in Service has more trips planned and more opportunities for students to give back. Individuals can call (785) 628-5537 for more information.

"I believe that people should really see the bigger picture of the service opportunities out there and really try to do some service," Herrman said. "Later on, when you need help, someone is going to be there to help you. It's a great feeling knowing that you gave back and that someone is out there that wants to give back to you."

Jordan Roston of Aurora, Colo., is a freshman at Fort Hays State University majoring in communication studies with an emphasis in journalism.