Students volunteer in heat to help others

By Katie Herrera

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The 98-degree heat on Wednesday didn't deter about 40 students from helping Habitat for Humanity fix a home.

"I'm seeing more and more youth coming out on our Habitat sites. It's a great thing to see them come out here and be able to use and learn new skills," said Omar Casiano, a member of the Habitat for Humanity staff.

The kids spent this summer day repainting a home in Center Point. Half of the workers were local students who volunteered through the program Students for Change.

"It makes me feel pretty self-important. It gives me something to do, helping somebody else," said Zackery Abst, a John Carroll High School student.

The other half drove 15 hours from Pennsylvania to volunteer in Birmingham. They were with the Youth Works program.

"We're coming down here to get to know the community and help fix it up," said Darby Smith, a Youth Works volunteer.

The summer heat did take its toll on the workers.

"It's totally different, because it's not hot like this in Pennsylvania! We had to drink lots of water," explained Smith.

"I was up on the roof. I was sitting on my shirt and on that tarp, and the heat was still going through," said Abst.

But they stayed hydrated with plenty of water. And they had a fan to cool off beside.

"They work very hard. They work harder than me sometimes!" said Casiano.

The students said all the sweat was worth it to help a family in need.

"Yea, it just shows the strength of the people around here, helping everybody else out," said Abst.

Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers for projects every Tuesday through Saturday.

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