Minnesota Students Spend Spring Break Serving Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - As the peak week for Spring Break in Panama City Beach arrives, so are some not-so-average spring breakers. Instead of bathing suits and beach towels, these college students are reaching for hammers and nails.

"I'd say about a third of our group has been building sheds today," said Isabel Bengtson, University of Minnesota Senior.

The University of Minnesota students are spending their spring break serving Bay County.

"We kind of took this past week as a ministry opportunity with our organization and we're just here spending time together, but then also reaching out to the community seeing anyway that we can help, which is why we're with Habitat today," said Bengtson.

The students are part of a campus ministry and got to choose which organizations they wanted to help while down here. They said Habitat for Humanity was an easy choice.

"I think the big thing is that it was a Christian organization that we could participate in and really get out in the community and serve others that are in need and just really get in there and work with our hands," said Lizzy Jorgenson, University of Minnesota Junior.

Some students spent their time constructing sheds for the two houses while the rest of the group was at Habitat's ReStore facility.

"Some of us built a medal shelf for paint cans and organized those paint cans, we folded things, we swept a lot, lots of leaves," said Bengtson.

Soon the homes will provide a bright future for a deserving family. This is made possible with the help of some selfless spring breakers.

"It's a way for us to really serve a new community and spend time together in a different way than if we were to go do something else for Spring Break, like a trip. I think it's a way to reach others instead of spending it for ourselves," said Bengtson.

One of the houses the students worked on was donated by Capt. Jack's Family Buffet on Panama City Beach through Habitat's Community Contribution Tax Credit Program.

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