Seven students and two staff members from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown are giving of themselves this Thanksgiving as they travel to Toronto and continue the construction of two connecting homes being built for families with disabled children. The trip is a project of the Pitt-Johnstown Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Bryan Valentine, Pitt-Johnstown director of student life, and Angela Boyd, Pitt-Johnstown career counselor, will chaperone the group. “I am proud to work with such dedicated and selfless students who understand the importance of giving back to the world community,” said Mr. Valentine.
According to Mr. Valentine, students will work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27. The group will celebrate Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26 as a Pitt-Johnstown family.
“I feel like this is the perfect time to do a build. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you have and giving to those who don’t have much. In this case, we’ll be giving a deserving family a place to live, and, to me, that’s the greatest gift to give,” said Carly Wetmore, a Pitt-Johnstown student from Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Matt Hankinson, a Pitt-Johnstown student from New Baltimore, Pa., added, “I’m giving up my Thanksgiving at home so someone else has a home for Christmas.”
The Pitt-Johnstown Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is one of the most active collegiate chapters in the country. Recently, members of the group built and slept in a “cardboard city” during Pitt-Johnstown “@ Your Service” week, as a way of increasing awareness of the issue of homelessness.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”