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Habitat comes to SKHS

At 6203 Rhododendron Drive, a few students spent the day hard at work, knee-deep in the mud.

A group of high schoolers from South Kitsap got to roll up their sleeves and get a little grime under their nails for the first time this year through Habitat for Humanity.

As the rain came down, students worked to help build a home in Port Orchard which will eventually provide affordable housing to an area family.

The students were part of a Habitat group based at South Kitsap High School, through the Campus Chapters program, the first chapter in Kitsap, followed just a few months later by a group at Olympic College.

The chapter was started by a SK student, who wanted to see the national organization present within the walls of her school.

Melissa Carlson came up with the idea, SK instructor Lysandra Ness said, and the group is still learning the ropes of having an on campus organization.

The program is through United Way, and is called Youth United. The students do fundraising and even help with the construction and repair of homes.

“We’re still a very very young group in the sense that we’ve just started,” Ness said. “So there’s a lot of stuff that goes into creating a club activity.”

But the community work can begin as soon as the students pick up a hammer and nail.

And that’s what they did last week, helping repair a house sponsored by the Habitat for Humanity. It gives the students a kind of global awareness, Ness said, “of the needs for ensuring people have homes to live in.”

“Having our little group here at South Kitsap High School wanting to kind of promote that sense of community feeling is just hugely important to the group,” Ness said.

The group worked through the rain, getting a little morale boost from one parent who brought lunch.

“It seemed like they weren’t dispelled by the rainy weather,” Habitat Volunteer Resource Coordinator Austin Campbell said.

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