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Iron Blade

The Student News Site of Ferrum College

Iron Blade

Team-Building and Home-Building

Women’s soccer partners with Habitat for Humanity in community-service project
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  • Haley Woodward, junior, right, uses a chop saw while Tony Clarke, construction site supervisor for Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley, oversees the work.

  • Amber Gillen, senior, drills holes for the house-building project.

  • From left, Sayda Rojas-Campbell, freshman, and Madison Cruz, junior, even out the loose dirt around the house.

  • Amber Gillen, senior, left, and Nat Eickhoff, freshman, carry debris to a dumpster as part of the women’s soccer team’s service project.

  • The women’s soccer team takes time for a photo after spending the day on a service project for Habitat for Humanity.

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Saws whirred, hammers pounded, and drills whined as the women’s soccer team donated its services to Habitat for Humanity this past Wednesday.

“We’ve been working with Habitat for Humanity for nine years as a team,” said Head Coach Erin Saleeby. “We chose Habitat for Humanity because of their mission to build stability, self-reliance, and affordable housing for families in our community; Ferrum’s motto of ‘Not Self, But Others’, and our own program core value of ‘Serving Others.'”

The team put in six hours of work, painting, caulking windows, removing rocks from the yard, using the saw to cut wood, building frames for windows, moving lumber, laying gravel, landscaping, and building a shed foundation.

It was the ninth year in a row the team has partnered with Habitat for the project, and Saleeby and the team say the rewards go beyond the building of homes.

“We love working with Habitat for Humanity for many reasons, but we especially love that it brings the team closer together,” Saleeby said. “Working together to better someone else’s life and giving back to the community builds a strong bond between the team. It’s hard work for sure, but there are a lot of really great memories that come out of the project!”

Senior, Camryn King agreed.

“It makes me feel very thankful that I’m able to be a part of something like this where I’m able to use my skills to help the community,” King said. “This project gives us the opportunity to bond as friends, not just as teammates, outside of our practices where we get to learn more about each other than we do while practicing.”

The project also brought about some reflection among the players.

“Doing the Habitat for Humanity project made me feel very thankful and accomplished knowing we were helping build a home for someone in need,” said Ashli Wuss, sophomore. “It brought our team together… Although it was tough work, I know it is for someone who needs it, and that makes me more motivated to help. It feels wonderful to be serving the community.”

Being a freshman, Jenny Ruiz was participating for the first time.

“It was hard work, but it was a really rewarding and an eye-opening experience!” Ruiz said. “It was nice knowing that the team was a helping hand in someone’s future home. In addition, I also benefited from this project by getting to know my teammates better and getting to work with others effectively to help reach a goal!”

Gina Dunnavant, Volunteer and Faith Relations Manager for Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley, said the work the team does is invaluable.

“We could not complete our mission to provide safe, affordable homeownership to local families without volunteers like the Ferrum Women’s Soccer Team,” Dunnavant said. “Their gift of volunteer labor cuts the cost of the home-building process, and those savings are passed on to the families and reflected in their lower sale price and mortgage.”

For the team, it’s a win-win, according to the players. Not only do they have the opportunity to give aid to people in need, but they also forge relationships.

“Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity really allows our team to bond,” said Haley Woodward, junior. “Each person has to pull their weight to accomplish the tasks needed to be done that day. It’s very rewarding to know that you are helping someone’s family in the community. Plus, each time we go, I learn something new, such as driving a Bobcat or learning how to use a nail gun!”

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