Hi everyone! My name is Delaney Cassidy. I am currently a sophomore at WPI studying Biomedical Engineering. This past winter break I had the honor of traveling to Louisiana with my school’s Habitat for Humanity to participate in the club’s annual build trip, and I can honestly say that it was the most rewarding, enjoyable, eye-opening experience I have ever had the pleasure of doing. I was familiar with the concept of a build trip but had never been presented with the opportunity to actually become involved in one. Habitat for Humanity was the first club I joined freshman year, and it’s crazy to think that I’ve done so much with the organization and impacted so many lives in just over a year’s time.
Going on this build trip really made me appreciate the little things in life, as well as grasp a better understanding of the Habitat for Humanity organization as a whole. I learned more than I could ever put to words: It wasn’t only the physical things like learning how to hammer in nails and put up plywood – I learned the value of hard work, and what it actually means to receive a house from Habitat. Homeowners really have to work for and want the house that Habitat helps them build – they put in hundreds of hours of ‘sweat equity’ and deserve everything they get. On top of building houses, Habitat sponsors homeownership classes for the future homeowners so they have a real chance of succeeding in their new lives. One of my favorite parts of the trip was seeing one of the homeowners walk into her future house, the house we were working on, with a genuine look of gratitude. The work we did in Louisiana actually made a difference on multiple peoples’ lives.
Aside from the house-building part of the trip, I loved exploring the city of New Orleans for a day; being exposed to such a different culture was really exciting. Excursions like this, and our nightly debriefing sessions, really brought the entire group together. I made so many new friends and formed bonds with people who I don’t think I would’ve been able to connect with if it hadn’t been for this trip. Overall, the week I spent in Louisiana opened my eyes to so many new things and was a worthwhile experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat.