DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Midori Kihara could have soaked in some needed sun on a beach in Mexico or Florida during her spring break from Providence College, but the Dobbs Ferry High School graduate chose instead to help a Pennsylvania family rebuild their home with Habitat For Humanity.
Kihara, a sophomore at Providence, joined 130 of her college peers working with Habitat for Humanity as part of the College's Alternative Spring Break 2014 program in March.
"I got involved with Habitat because of the amazing stories and experiences my friends and family shared about their journey to help others," Kihara said. "I've always wanted to give back to those less fortunate and this alternative Spring Break was a great way for me to do that."
The Providence students participated through the Habitat campus chapter which is sponsored by the chaplain's office. Kihara worked on a home project in chilly Harrisburg, Pa.
"There really aren't any words to satisfy my experience during my time in Harrisburg," Kihara said. "It was so rewarding to see the progression of the house we worked on from the first day we got there to the last day we left. In addition to the house we worked on, we helped out in the Restore and warehouses for Habitat for Humanity which was a critical and beneficial process for the volunteers down in Harrisburg."
Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International builds and rehabilitates simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with those in need of adequate shelter and other volunteers who work through more than 1,900 affiliates worldwide.
Kihara said the "work" experience with fellow students, Habitat, AmeriCorps and other volunteers were, "beyond fun and enjoyable to be around."
"One of the greatest gratifications was meeting the family that is to move into the house we helped build," Kihara said. "Of course, any volunteer work is rewarding, but putting a face to a name and making it a personal experience was an enjoyment we all shared. I absolutely cannot wait until I will be able to take part in this alternative Spring Break trip next year, and I encourage others to partake in a Habitat for Humanities trip."