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The CEL Day Experience: Build Days at Habitat for Humanity


During the first month of the semester, The Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research has coordinated three Build Days with Habitat for Humanity.  Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County hosts “Build Days” where the organization gathers volunteers to help with the construction of a home in the surrounding local area. The homes that TCNJ students help build through their Community Engaged Learning days go on to be sold at affordable prices to families in need.  Habitat for Humanity does not just build new homes, they also help repair/renovate homes for families in need in the local community. In addition, they host financial classes for individuals to help better themselves and work towards being financially educated. The classes are open to the general public, and are a requirement to those wishing to purchase a home from Habitat.TCNJ CELR has had Habitat as a long time community partner. The students who have been given the opportunity to serve at either a build day or at the Habitat ReStore have had only positive things to say about their experiences:

“I loved working for this program! I thought it was really fun to work with the people on site and my classmates.”

“I learned about the Trenton community and how to spackle and sand.” It is our responsibility to help the Trenton community. They deserve to have the same opportunities that we have. It was a good way to get community service hours and help the Trenton community at the same time!”

Many students stated that they wished they could have been of more help, and that they will look forward to potentially serving there on their own in the future. These CEL Days/Habitat for Humanity Build Days have exposed the first-year student participants to the issue areas of poverty and homelessness. In addition to this, they have learned the importance of serving in the community which they live in.  For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County and the Greater Trenton/Princeton Area please go to: