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Union Catholic students volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

By Jim Lambert
Union Catholic continued its commitment to help the community when a group of students volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to assist in the construction of a house in Plainfield last Saturday.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live, and Habitat works toward its vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing.

UC students Kiana Salmon, Preeti Shukla, Mia Schutz, and Kai Chiang, and Mrs. Jennifer Dixon, the Director of School Counseling at Union Catholic, joined with students from Rutgers University and the future homeowner on the project.

Salmon said it felt great to help.

“I really like to serve and volunteer, and especially since this was in my own city I really wanted to do it,’’ said Salmon, a senior who lives in Plainfield. “I didn’t know much about Habitat For Humanity until I heard about it on UCTV, then I researched it and saw what a great cause it is.’’
Schutz said building and painting fit her skill set.

“I’m part of the Tech Crew for UC PAC, so I already build a lot of stuff almost on a daily basis and I paint a lot of things, so I thought that I can use those skills to help other people as well,’’ said Schutz, a junior who lives in Metuchen. “It makes me feel really good and it’s very rewarding to help people. It doesn’t feel like work to me.’’

Chiang is grateful that Mrs. Dixon told him about the chance to help.

“I was looking for a way to help out someway, and Mrs. Dixon mentioned this to me and it was a good opportunity to help,’’ said Chiang, a junior who lives in Mountainside. “We a did a lot of painting, and I cut wood. It was a really great experience.’’

Mrs. Dixon said Union Catholic hopes to do more volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and other similar groups.

“Union Catholic's commitment to its core values was evident in the experience with Habitat for Humanity on Saturday,’’ said Mrs. Dixon. “Working alongside the future homeowner as well as with other committed volunteers was a humbling experience. We hope to continue to explore opportunities with Habitat for Humanity and other similar organizations to provide additional opportunities and experiences like this in the future.’’
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