By: Sandy Sossoadouno

For many years, Fisher College has managed to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity to join their “Sweat Break Collegiate Challenge,” supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission in helping communities build shelter and homes for low-income families. As part of the Collegiate Challenge program and service-learning course led by Fisher College Librarian Joshua McKain and Assistant Registrar Vivian Lara, 13 Fisher College students traveled to Goose Creek, South Carolina, where they worked with the Habitat for Humanity team to build houses for low-income families and people in need. Habitat for Humanity also require families and individuals receiving assistance to pour their own sweat equity into the project, which helps volunteers in getting to know the family they are helping in creating a home.

Non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity focus on empowering people in the world’s poorest communities to overcome a chronic lack of decent housing, with an ultimate goal where people live in an equal set of living. Founded in 1976, the idea for Habitat for Humanity was conceived on the heels of “Partnership Housing,” which is centered on building houses with volunteers. The houses would be built with no profit, and house payments would be combined with no-interest loans provided by supporters. Money earned from fundraising efforts related to “The Fund for Humanity” are utilized to build more homes.

Leading the group of students, McKain shared insight into what the team has worked on throughout their day in Goose Creek: “We started our days at about 8:30am, worked until lunchtime (lunch provided by the volunteers), and then for a couple more hours. In addition to shingling a roof and building a back porch for an elderly woman on the outskirts of Charleston, we put siding on a new home for a family in need of safe housing since the pandemic, painted a playhouse to be auctioned off to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, and we worked on two occasions in the ReStore, which is a donation center that supports this mission.”

After a long day of work, the Fisher Falcons were able to enjoy each day in South Carolina with a different activity or experience. McKain shared, “We also had time to go the beach in Isle of Palms, walked around Charleston, ate several dinners out, went bowling, sat around a bonfire and ate s’mores, and played card games— all offered students an experience to remember.”

For students present and past, this remains an eye-opening experience. They were afforded the opportunity to help people in need, but also learned a lot about themselves and each other and the impact a small group can make. Sophomore student Olivia Dawson was one of 13 students participating in this year’s program. While reflecting on her trip, she said, “This entire experience was life changing, and there could not have been a better place to be than Goose Creek. This is a trip I plan on attending again next year, and I hope to continue my work alongside Habitat for Humanity soon.”

Habitat for Humanity has helped build different perspectives on improving communities. It involves hard work, patience, and community bonding, all of which offer Habitat for Humanity and Fisher College a platform to contribute hope and affordable housing for those who are in need.

Since 2010, Fisher College has supported the following annual alternative Spring Break trips:

  • Tampa, FL (2010) –
  • Macon, GA (2011) –
  • El Paso, TX (2012) –
  • New Bern, NC (2013) –
  • Los Angeles, CA (2014) –
  • Biloxi, MS (2015) -- with Community Collaborations International
  • Palm Bay, FL (2016) –
  • Cleveland, OH (2017) –
  • Waynesburg, PA (2018) –
  • Edgewater, FL (2019) –
  • Newland, NC (2020) –
  • Valdosta, GA (2022) –
  • Goose Creek, SC (2023) –

Sandy Sossoadouno is a second-year Communications and Media Studies major at Fisher College. he can be reached by email:

  • Fisher Community Service
  • Fisher Volunteering
  • Habitat for Humanity
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