Students travel across country to build Habitat homes in Hobe Sound

Thursday, February 4, 2010

HOBE SOUND, Fla., Feb. 4, 2010 – Instead of vacationing with their friends and families, college students from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin chose to spend their winter break helping others in Martin County.


In January, Habitat for Humanity of Martin County was visited by 17 students from Western Iowa Tech Community College, 10 students from the University of Minnesota and 14 students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As part of Collegiate Challenge, these students helped to build Habitat homes in the Banner Lake community in Hobe Sound.


Collegiate Challenge is an alternative school break program that provides students the opportunity to spend their week-long school break building homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the United States.In March, students from Iowa’s Wartburg College and the University of Southern Indiana will visit Martin County during spring break and support the Habitat cause through Collegiate Challenge.


“What brings me the greatest joy is bringing joy to others,” said Nick Dobrinska, 20, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student. “This is the kind of work I enjoy and coming to Florida was an added bonus. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”


Habitat for Humanity of Martin County has participated in Collegiate Challenge since 2006, hosting 13 different college groups.The Habitat Faith Relations Committee takes charge when a group signs up through Habitat International’s Web site and sets the students up with housing, and local churches and restaurants are called upon to provide meals for the students.


“It is truly wonderful to see God’s work first hand through these students,” said Margot Graff, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Martin County. “We are grateful that they chose to donate their winter break to help build homes for deserving families here in our community. We also appreciate the generosity of the local businesses, churches and volunteers who support the Habitat for Humanity mission by assisting our Collegiate Challenge groups.”


Special thanks to Ace Hardware, Banbury Cross Bakery, Big Apple Pizza, Century 21 Horizon Properties, Chick-Fil-A, Eileen Forest/Treasure Coast Community Church, Bob and Joann Gallagher, Hobe Sound Women’s Club, Jensen Beach Community Church, Mr. Mailbox, Peace Presbyterian Church, Ramada Inn of Stuart, Scooters Restaurant, South Martin Regional Utility, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Taste Casual Dining Restaurant, Temple Beit Hayam, The Pine School, The Preserve, Trinity United Methodist Church, Wachovia, Winn Dixie.


To learn more about Collegiate Challenge or to obtain sponsorship information, call Habitat for Humanity of Martin County at (772) 223-9940 or visit the Collegiate Challenge page on


About Habitat for Humanity of Martin County

Habitat for Humanity of Martin County is a not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that extends the opportunity to purchase simple, decent, affordable homes to local families who would not otherwise have that chance. The three key criteria necessary in order to make homeownership a reality for families include the need for shelter, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. For more information, call (772) 223-9940 or visit

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