One-to-One Connection

 

The Spring Break partnership between the LPEA and Habitat can be traced back to a letter sent from the LPEA to Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, says Habitat Marketing Director Karen Lienau. The LPEA "wanted Habitat to have a presence at [BeachFest], and also [wanted to] get involved in house-building," she says.

 

When 13 college BeachFest volunteers specifically requested to work on a Habitat project, the pieces fell into place. "We worked to put them into available slots" through Habitat's Broward County, Fla., affiliate, Lienau says.

 

An additional 60 IV students from multiple colleges around the country devoted their Spring Break to helping out with the same Habitat affiliate, as part of Habitat's "Collegiate Challenge" program. Lienau says the year-round "Collegiate Challenge" draws 11,000 students to work with U.S. Habitat affiliates during Spring Break.

 

During its 15-year history, the program has "grown to be one of the largest alternative Spring Break programs in the country," Lienau says. "It's a great way for us to reach out to Christian students across the country and have them join the Habitat housing ministry."

 

The impressive results have allowed Habitat – founded as a way to "offer people a concrete way to put their faith into action and answer Christ's call to serve neighbors in need," according to founder Fuller to stress its Christian calling.

 

On that score, the event was a success even before it began, says Lienau, who adds that Habitat is investigating ways to continue partnering with the LPEA. "They have a large evangelical audience we'd love to tap into more," she says. Habitat's recent partnership with Christian band Third Day also has generated strong interest in Habitat's work among the band's fans, Lienau adds.

 

By week's end, the Habitat home was nearing completion. But the work of Habitat, the LPEA, and InterVarsity will go on.