Volunteer Spotlight: Newman Catholic Student Center

February 21, 2024

Oftentimes, volunteers come to our construction site to give to the community, and many are surprised that they also get to build community during their service! This has happened for many at the Newman Catholic Student Center.  

The Newman Center has been a volunteer partner for almost as long as Orange Habitat has been around. Over the past few years, Newman volunteers have worked on the construction site several times each year. They spent so much time on site that they became the resident crew to install vinyl siding at Odie Street in Hillsborough during the coldest months, when vinyl is the hardest to work with.  

Newman volunteers have found that the Habitat site is not only a place for them to build homes, but it has also become a place where they build community. Usually after builds, the group will go get lunch together or spend time getting to know the Regular Crew volunteers on the site that day.  

“The reason Newman loves Habitat and finds it more fruitful is that Habitat does more than build homes—it builds communities. By bringing volunteers on site, Habitat creates spaces for cross-communal dialogues. So many from Newman have found new friends both inside and outside our church,” said Jacob, a student volunteer. “Volunteers may not be the fastest builders, but I don’t know of any other organizations that both bring our community together and allow for college students to meet people from all walks of life—from people of different religions to retired doctors to service industry workers—like Habitat does.”