New York students help with Rockbridge Habitat construction

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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (WDBJ7) They started early, and they had to start from scratch, learning the basics of mixing mortar for laying the cinderblocks to make a new house.

“It’s a really great opportunity to work with such fantastic communities," said Hamilton College senior Austin Fanburg. "And to be able to make a real difference for a great organization like Habitat.”

He's one of a group of students from Hamilton College in New York, fresh from an eight-hour trip to Virginia, pitching in to create a home.

“While they’re here, they’re going to learn all types of skills and work next to our volunteers and our family members who are building their homes,” Lynne Johnson, Rockbridge Area Habitat's Executive Director explained.

“I think we’re really looking forward to getting to meet all the different participants and organizers of the projects here," Fanburg said. "And to be able to meet the families hopefully that will be or already live in this community.”

They prepare the cinder block foundation, literally doing the heavy lifting, but it isn’t all hard work.

“By the end of the day, you’ll be amazed how far along the foundation has come," Johnson said. "How far along the friendships and the sense of community is formed in these just small activities they do together.”

“You already know people around campus, but you meet a lot more that you’ve never gotten to know before," Fanburg said. "And you get to do some great work with them.”

A spring break that builds friendships along with a house.