This past weekend, the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research kicked off the year strong with its first two Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Days. CELR Center organizes CEL days to provide First Year students an opportunity to understand the causes and context of community concerns; to participate in diverse communities; and to gain knowledge and skills. Ultimately, students take part in an organized community-based activity that addresses a community-identified need. Students this past weekend volunteered at Habitat for Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Greater Trenton-Princeton ReStore.
The organization’s mission is to “partners with families in need and volunteers to transform lives through decent and affordable housing.” Homeownership has many benefits one of which includes family stability.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStores sell gently used and donated furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials, and more at significantly reduced rates. The first group of students spent their day unpacking and organizing donations of furniture. The second group picked up where the first left off, putting together pieces of furniture, organizing the furniture into like groups, and helping customers. All of the items that the students processed would go on to be sold to support Habitat for Humanity.
One student reflected on their CEL experience by saying, “I loved directly seeing where my efforts were going towards. I like seeing the progression of work and the good cause the ReStore represents…I thought this was a great CEL day and a good bonding experience.”