Prep Talk

Interact Club Works with Habitat for Humanity

Posted April 30th, 2013


On Saturday, April 20, members of the Interact Club and Mrs. McHugh, club moderator, worked for 4 hours with Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH), which is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.  The service project was coordinated by senior Interact club member Richard Marchese as an extension of his Caritas project.

CCHFH executive director, Richard Scarpa, explained to club members that Habitat works via locally run affiliates throughout the US (actually the world) building or restoring housing with the help of donations and volunteers. Local affiliates select qualified families to become homeowners. CCHFH received approximately 65 applications last year.  Two recipients are selected annually – one from the Vineland area and one from the Millville area.  Land and materials for the homes are donated or are secured at cost.  Mortgages are financed interest-free.  Future homeowners are expected to donate 500 hours (sweat equity) towards the construction of the homes and are required to attend financial literacy courses. The future homeowner was also onsite working with the Interact volunteers. He was excited and quite appreciative of the Prep students’ help.

During an afternoon of service, the students removed a temporary electric pole and constructed a planter.  This construction was quite an undertaking as it required many tasks from digging and leveling a trough to measuring, cutting, and anchoring the lumber to back filling the area with dirt.   The planter was approximately 4 feet high, 6 – 9 feet long, and 8 feet wide when complete.  Volunteers were given a t-shirt and treated to a pizza lunch by CCHFH.

Attendees were senior Richard Marchese, juniors Michael Scarpato, Carl Schroeder, and Sal Scarpinato, sophomores John Paul Kolnik and Paul Jalowski, and freshman Christian Bik, Daniel Biagi, Niko Basolis, and Jeremy Wozunk (all member of Mrs. McHugh’s Unitas group).  Special thanks go out to Dr. Sharon Kolnik and Mr. Paul Biagi – parents of club members who pitched in and volunteered with us.

Mr. Scarpa and Mrs. McHugh are going to investigate creating an ongoing afflilation between the Interact club and CCHFH.  A monthly service activity is on the horizon.