Volunteering in a new habitat
Jamonte Thomas (from left), Chance Lindsay and Antonio Miles stack lumber at the Habitat for Humanity ReSale Shop in Gurnee. Members of Mundelein High School’s Black Student Union volunteered their time to help the shop. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Me
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:22AM
Wanting to build a distinct identity, members of the Black Student Union decided to branch outside of Mundelein High School this year.
The group’s mission involves annual community service projects, to promote unity and cultural awareness. Students decided to participate in Habitat for Humanity this year.
“In the past, we always helped other clubs do their projects,” faculty adviser Robert Holmes said. “The kids finally wanted one of their own.”
Last year, the Black Student Union helped with a coat drive, canned-food drive and Toys for Tots collections. Helping construct a house would be a big step up.
About 20 students were set to help construct a house Dec. 14 in Zion. In groups of two or three, the students would help construction crews in various ways.
Race wasn’t a factor in the choice of field trips. Holmes said the goal was to show the students what volunteerism entails.
“We are going to help Habitat for Humanity knowing they are helping underprivileged families,” Holmes said. “We don’t know or care if it’s a white, black or Latino family moving in, just that they’re deserving.”
Weather conditions canceled the trip 24 hours before the students were set to arrive.
The Black Student Union was resilient, though, and instead volunteered in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Gurnee.
Students helped unload trucks, stock shelves and assist customers from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Proceeds from the donation and resale operation go toward Habitat for Humanity projects.
Students were excited about the teamwork and greater cause they served. Holmes said they’re eager to plan their next project – potentially their second outside-MHS activity.
“We are looking at how we can give back to a community we belong to,” Holmes said. “Be it with hands-on hard work or seeking donations for someone, we put brainstorming and thought into how the kids feel they can be serve.”
To recommend community service projects or invite the Black Student Union to help a cause, email RHolmes@d120.org.~.