Andrew Dunne Build Trip 2015

Hi my name is Andrew Dunne and I’m a sophomore at WPI who is majoring in mechanical engineering. In high school I really enjoyed doing community service, however my service was kept pretty local (coaching in town youth basketball teams, volunteering at the town’s senior center, etc.).  So coming to college I knew I wanted to continue to help others. But, as I was venturing out into the world with my college experience, I also wanted expand the scope of my volunteering as well.  That is how I came to find habitat for humanity as a wonderful club at WPI for myself to become a part of because I knew it was an international organization whose effects are felt worldwide. So far however, my habitat for humanity experience has been limited to helping out locally in Worcester and table sitting on campus during fundraising events. Therefore being on this trip has really been my first experience helping those outside of my community. I remember back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit how news of the severe damage it caused spread nationwide. The pictures and videos of the aftermath were unfathomable at the time but a decade has past, and the stories have left the media, but you forget that the Louisiana locals still live with Katrina’s repercussions everyday. That didn’t hit me until we got off the plane in New Orleans and drove out to Slidell, passing by plentiful evidence of Katrina having come through and this region still trying to rebuild and recover 10 years later. Meeting the locals here in Slidell, in Mandeville, and on our first day in New Orleans and seeing how nice they are makes all this work that much more personal and it feels like we are doing some good and making a difference down here. Everyone has been very appreciative of us coming down to help and I hope it sparks the movement for people seeing us to lend a hand when they can. What I learned most from this trip is that habitat is all about helping out when you can for those less fortunate because every little bit helps. I hope that not only the families enjoy the houses we helped build, but also that we provided inspiration to others and opened their eyes to maybe helping in the future because every little does make a world of difference. The more people help the more change we can make, after all many hands make light work.


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