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Habitat to serve in California in spring

This upcoming spring break, Seton Hall's chapter of Habitat for Humanity will be traveling to California for their annual service project, where they will add to the list of communities touched by their charitable service.

Each year, Habitat for Humanity posts several locations for each chapter to choose from, spreading their service nationwide.

This year, locations included Biloxi, Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, and ultimately, Seton Hall chose to travel westward to California.

A small group of 31 members of the group have traveled on previous trips, and because the number has worked so well in the past, 31 students will be able to travel to California.

Senior Kaitlyn Reper, president of Seton Hall's chapter, will be traveling with the group for their first trip west this spring.

"We usually pick the people who have been the most active in the club, and they are the first ones to be able to give a deposit if they are interested," Reper said.

If members want to go on these service trips, they are encouraged to stay active in order to be rewarded with the chance to help communities.

This year, Oakland, Ca. will benefit from the charity of Seton Hall students.

"We will be doing some kind of construction there," Reper said, who has participated in several Habitat trips in the past. "I've done it all, like building houses, porches, roofing and siding."

Habitat traveled to New Orleans twice before, most recently last year. Sophomore Nick Carrico, treasurer of Seton Hall Habitat, traveled to New Orleans last year as a freshman and will be traveling to California this spring break.

"After all those years after Hurricane Katrina, we still have so much work to do," Carrico said.

Carrico also noted that in California, "we will get a whole new perspective of Habitat and I will probably be learning new techniques and trades."

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All members are going into the experience quite unaware of what it will hold.

"We don't know what to expect," Reper said. "I am definitely not sure what to expect because we have been to New Orleans twice and it was so bad."

Habitat fundraises much of the year to make the trip cost-efficient for those who want to be involved.

Each member interested in traveling with the group is required to pay $150, but airline fares are making this year's trip more expensive than previous years.

Habitat wants to be able to make this trip just as accessible to its members as other trips have been, and they continue to fundraise.
Every fall, Habitat provides a leaf raking service to South Orange and Maplewood, and they accept donations for their service.

They also accept donations via Pirates Gold in the cafeteria, write letters for advocacy and gift wrapp at Barnes and Noble to help fund their trip, and they will do anything they can think of this year to hopefully fully fund their trip to California.

Yet Habitat remains optimistic based on their successful history with previous trips.

After Habitat has seen the progress in ravaged New Orleans, and they are excited to venture to unfamiliar territory to help those in need.
"We want to help people who are less fortunate and bring awareness to Seton Hall," Reper said.

Samantha Desmond can be reached at


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