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‘Tis the Season of Giving

Published on November 27, 2013 | By Adrianne LaGruth

In the desire to continue the Mercy value of service to others, graduate Benjamin McCormick ’13 decided to reach out in his new community in Dayton, Ohio. Ben was interested in finding a group to participate with that was similar to the service learning he experienced at the ‘Hurst. Ben had been a part of the Service Learning department’s trip to New Orleans, LA for their annual Katrina relief, rebuild, and restore in November of 2012. Ben took the initiative in his new community to reach out and recruit local alumni in the Dayton area to join him and continue the Mercyhurst legacy of service beyond the gates.

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Lakers and friends helping with a Habitat for Humanity build from L to R: Brad Trainer ’11, Benjamin McCormick ’13, Josh Shurina ’10, Daniel Zook ’11, Stacey Flamos, Carl Kobza, Donald Cummings ’08, and Adrienne Sluga ’08.

The group consisted of five Mercyhurst graduates and two of McCormick’s co-workers and friends who wanted to participate.  Mercyhurst alumni Brad Trainer ’11, Josh Shurina ’10, Daniel Zook ’11, Donald Cummings ’08, and Adrienne Sluga ’08 joined Ben McCormick ‘13, along with friends Stacey Flamos and Carl Kobza. On September 14th, the group offered their time and muscles to a community outreach Habitat for Humanity build.

The build was partnered with Stillwater United Methodist. The build was designed to assemble frames for all the walls of a three bedroom home for a Dayton Habitat partner family, Wilhemina Cotten. Wilhemina and her 3 children; Kenneth, 14; Kylon, 7; and Kamia, 6 are excited about the opportunity to have their own home that will provide more room in a safe and quiet neighborhood. “Habitat will help to calm my fears and give my family the opportunity to relax by providing something we have always wanted, a safe home,” says Wilhemina.

Volunteers for this build provided both physical labor to frame the walls for the entire home in just 8 short hours. Ben, who had previously participated in rebuilds, stated that “it was incredible that 100 volunteers could build the framework for a house in just one day.” The completed walls were transported to the build site and construction has continued over the past three months. The house is expected to be ready just in time for Christmas!

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