Across the nation, colleges and universities grant students and faculty a week to enjoy the coming of spring. Often, this time is spent visiting out-of-town family and friends or vacationing in exotic destinations.

For those at Lourdes College, spring break is a time of purpose. Each year, the community spends this time serving others throughout the world. This year, three Lourdes groups dedicated their break to projects in North Carolina, Louisiana and Peru, South America.

What they accomplished in this short time is, at the very least, impressive. Here's one of the groups' stories.

Habitat for Humanity

Since 1996, Lourdes Habitat for Humanity teams have assisted homeowners in seven states and 12 cities. Their projects have included rehabbing houses, building homes and bringing the spirit of volunteerism and Franciscan values to those in need.

Alumnus Frank Zbierajewski ('98, BSN, Nursing) helped bring the Habitat for Humanity International Collegiate Challenge program to Lourdes with the assistance of then Campus Minister Sr. Ann Carmen Barone, OSF.

Since that first trek to Homestead, FL, more than 100 Lourdes students have raised the necessary funds to participate in Habitat for Humanity and make a difference in communities across the country.

This year, the Lourdes caravan comprised 13 students, two staffers, two friends and one alumnus. The First Baptist Church congregation of High Point, NC opened its doors to many habitat teams and the entire town provided warm hospitality throughout their stay. Students enjoyed movies at the local cinema, frames at the bowling alley and breakfasts all at no cost.

When their spring break came to a close, the Lourdes team had built an outbuilding, met hundreds of people from throughout the US and had a genuinely enjoyable time on this worthwhile endeavor.

View a slideshow of students working on the houses