Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Break Time Is Hammer Time; Students Use Winter Vacation to Help Others

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Break Time Is Hammer Time; Students Use Winter Vacation to Help Others

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

BRUNSWICK - Beth Dobson, the head athletic trainer at Alma College, looked over her 15 charges from the school Monday.

It is winter break time at the liberal arts college in the Michigan city of the same name. She and 15 of the 1,300-member Alma student body are spending their free time swinging hammers on a Habitat for Humanity of Glynn County project.

"They could be in Cancun," she said of the students who had laid aside their hammers for a mid-morning break.

"A lot of them just want to do stuff for other people,'' Dobson said. "Of course they did like that it's warm weather.''

That's the case for Sam Butler, a business administration major from Traverse City, Mich., just north and east of Green Bay, Wis., across Lake Michigan.

"I'd be home doing nothing,'' Butler said. "I win twice. Warm weather and helping people.''

While it was 73 degrees in Brunswick Monday, the National Weather Service predicted a low of 9 degrees tonight in the Michigan city.

Some on the group were not earning their first charity blisters. Kelly Durr and Karl Recker both worked in Louisiana in after Hurricane Katrina.

"It's nice to be building something instead of tearing down,'' Recker said of his work demolishing ruined buildings in Louisiana.

"I pulled nails for five days,'' Durr said.

The group is working on a house off Old Jesup Road north of the Sterling Community for Kenneth and Linda Deen, said Bob Hicks, executive director of the Glynn County affiliate. Disabled from an infection, Kenneth Deen has been in a nursing home for two years because his family's mobile home could not accommodate his medical equipment, Hicks said. When the house is finished, the Deens will be together again as a family.

That shouldn't be too long. Construction superintendent Jon Collett had scheduled for the group to do nail decking on the roof and put in the walls.

"The back was done in two hours. They'll get all I had planned and more. They'll probably get half of the next group's work done at this pace,'' Collett said.

The Alma College workers are among a series of spring breakers coming through, Hicks said. …

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