Builders Club engages students in community

Photos by Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Holy Trinity Catholic School eighth-graders Kaylee Schmitt, left, and Brandon Mehringer load a cart of rugs while volunteering with the school's Builders Club at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Huntingburg on Saturday. Builders Club is a community service club at Holy Trinity that gives students opportunities to volunteer. Kaylee has been a part of builders club for three years. "It was just something I really wanted to do and I like helping out," Schmitt said. "It feels really good because you know that you help somebody." 


BRETZVILLE — It was the weekend, but a handful of Holy Trinity Catholic School students weren’t sleeping in.

The group rose with the sun and headed to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bretzville to gain service hours for the Builders Club, a middle school community service club sponsored by Kiwanis.

“I like helping others and helping out our community,” sixth-grader Gracie Huckelby said.

This is her first year in the Builders Club, which is open to sixth- through eighth-grade students at Holy Trinity. This year, the club has about 50 members. About 10 students attended the ReStore work day Saturday morning.

At a national level, Builders Club aims to engage students ages 11 to 14 in service and leadership within their communities. At the local level, Holy Trinity’s club accomplishes those goals by making the club completely student led — a leadership team of elected officers plans meetings and organizes service events — and by requiring members to participate in at least three service events throughout the year. Some of the service events include volunteering at Jasper Community Arts Center shows, writing pen pal letters to residents at Brookside Village and visiting the pen pals on Tuesdays, and helping out at events hosted by local churches. The group also organizes monthly trips to the ReStore to volunteer.

“Whenever something needs doing, people call the Builders Club,” said Cassie Beyke, a Holy Trinity teacher and club sponsor. “They are kids with generous hearts.”

Holy Trinity Catholic School special education teacher and Builders Club sponsor Cassie Beyke of Celestine, left, cleans a coffee table with her daughter, Adalynn, 3, while volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Huntingburg on Saturday. Cassie is one of three teachers that sponsor the club at Holy Trinity. "I just love teaching the kids to give back to other people," Cassie said. "I want to teach my kids to do the same things. I love bringing them along to the service projects to teach them to have a servant's heart."

Seventh-grader Monica Lorey joined the Builders Club in sixth grade because of all the community service opportunities it provided. She likes getting out in the community and doing the work with organizations to get jobs done rather than donating money or items.

“It’s just good to help Jasper become better,” she said.

ReStore manager Mark Moeller was grateful to have the students, and quickly set them to work dusting the furniture, moving bolts of fabric that weren’t selling, and even cleaning the bathrooms. The students happily completed each task.

“Doing all this on our own would have taken a long time,” Moeller said.

The ReStore depends on volunteer groups to facilitate the operation, Moeller said, as the ReStore employs only a small team of part-time employees. Eighth-grader Brandon Mehringer is always ready to fulfill needs at the ReStore. He’s been in the Builders Club for three years, and the ReStore is his favorite service activity.

“It’s lots of fun,” he said. “I enjoy helping out.”


Habitat for Humanity ReStore manager Mark Moeller of Jasper gives directions to Holy Trinity Catholic School's Builders Club members at the ReStore in Huntingburg on Saturday.


Holy Trinity Catholic School seventh-grader Monica Lorey cleans a mirror while volunteering with the Builders Club at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Huntingburg on Saturday. Monica has participated in Builders Club for two years.


Holy Trinity Catholic School eighth-graders Kaylee Schmitt, left, and Sarah Oeding push a cart of rugs while volunteering with Builders Club at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Huntingburg on Saturday.


Adalynn Beyke, 3, of Celestine, plays on the couch while her mother, Cassie, helps Builders Club members volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Huntingburg on Saturday.



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