Canadian college students build home for Birmingham woman

CBS42/Parrish Alleman

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s Spring Break for students at St. Mary ‘s University outside Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada and some of them decided to spend their break in Alabama, helping others.

About 40 students traveled nearly 2,000 miles by bus to Birmingham to help build a house in Pratt city. The property owner lost her home in the April 2011 tornado and Habitat for Humanity in Birmingham is building her a new one.

“So it was actually like a last minute decision. The opportunity came up to come here and help someone so I figured I’d get the most out of my break and come down and volunteer,” St. Mary’s student Mark Slaunwhite said.

“For them to decide on their Spring Break that they want to come help others, that’s a strong testament of kids wanting to help communities not just in their own community but across the country,” Beth Bradner with Habitat Birmingham said.

The students from St. Mary’s are the first wave of Habitat Birmingham’s Collegiate Challenge. Students from colleges across the country will be building houses in Birmingham every week through April.

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