Although their winning Instagram videos lasted a mere 15 seconds, student volunteers for the Habitat for Humanity campus chapters of Columbia University and the University of Louisville have worked countless hours helping to build or renovate simple, decent housing for those in need.
The winning entries earned both chapters $5,000 each from Barnes & Noble College to cover expenses for their Spring Break Collegiate Challenge. The #BNCInstaBuild Video Challenge offered college chapters from across the country an opportunity to create an Instagram video about why their service to others is so important to them. Columbia University and the University of Louisville were both chosen as grand prize winners, and were recently presented with checks from their respective bookstores to help cover their trip expenses.
“You only have 15 seconds to work with,” said Josh Saylor, creator of the University of Louisville’s Habitat for Humanity chapter entry, “so I put in a lot of half-second pictures and videos, and tried to give a broad picture of everything our chapter does.”
While the University of Louisville’s chapter headed to the Sunshine State for Spring Break, their time will be spent on a construction site, rather than on the beach. “We will be taking fourteen people to the Lake Sumpter, Florida chapter, where we will be doing four days of service” said Joe Albrecht, vice president of the chapter and planner of the trip. “It’s been really great to have the opportunity to fund this, allowing everyone to go for free.”
That extra money was also appreciated by the Columbia University Habitat for Humanity chapter, who not only felt excitement about the win, but also relief. “Our students were incredibly excited about this win,” said Tom Spalango, Columbia University Bookstore manager, who also presented the winning check to the chapter. “Not only were they thrilled to be given the opportunity to help others, but the students told me this money also allowed them to concentrate on their studies, instead of spending that time fundraising to pay for their trip to New Orleans.”
Since 1989, 230,100 student volunteers have participated in spring break builds and have donated more than $24.1 million to local Habitat affiliates. This spring, more than 8,300 students are expected to build with Habitat for Humanity during their Spring Breaks.