Johns Island, SC

Mar 3rd, 2018 to Mar 10th, 2018
Cost: $660.00 Partner Organization(s): Habitat for Humanity Sea Island ( Service Type: Housing and Human Services Number of Participants: 10 (2 site leaders, 8 participants)

Trip Logistics and Participant Requirements:

We will stay at Faith House, a house Habitat for Humanity owns, which has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Each room has 6 bunk beds, and all towels, linens and blankets are provided. It also has a fully-equipped kitchen that we will use to make all our meals. We will also have the chance to eat out a couple of times on Johns island and in Charleston. We will start our drive on the morning of of Saturday, March 3rd in two cars and arrive in the late afternoon. We will get back to Charlottesville on the evening of Saturday, March 11th. We hope to use one car from a participant, if not we will have to spend a little more money on a rental car. The price will be $585 if a rental car is not needed.

Participants should be willing and excited to work hard, seeing as our hours on the construction site are long. Participants should also be eager to meet new people, not only within our own ASB group, but also at Habitat in Johns Island. Finally, a desire to learn about and more fully understand the community and culture in Charleston and Johns Island is necessary!


Service Activities:

While we are on Johns Island we will be working with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds and repairs homes in areas of need. Habitat for Humanity plays an integral role in the Johns Island community because the tourism industry has created a huge influx of people, driving housing prices up and leaving many people who call Johns Island home, unable to afford a house. Also, many of the poorer areas on the island are affected the most by hurricanes that hit the island almost every year. Our work could be painting, drilling nails or anything required to build a house! No experience is necessary, they will teach us everything we need to know! We will get to meet and spend time with residents whose homes have been rebuilt by Habitat, maybe even those whose homes we are working on.

Regional Background:

Charleston and the surrounding islands, such as Johns Island, played an important role as a port in the early 1800s. During this time Charleston was the only American city with a majority slave population. Racial tensions in the area continued after the civil war and remain even into today. The city and the surrounding area still maintains its role as an important port, but the economy today is fueled much more by the tourism industry. You can find luxury hotels, resorts, golf courses and beaches all around Charleston and the islands around it. The huge tourism industry has pushed much of the poorer population out of Charleston and the more touristy islands to neighborhoods on islands like Johns island which have more land available. This has created a stark contrast between the rich and the poor on these islands that we will be able to see very clearly while working with Habitat for Humanity.


Community Background:

In the 1950s and 1960s steel bridges were built going to Johns Island and other islands off the coast of South Carolina. The population of the area increased dramatically after this, as the islands were a prime area for the tourism industry. Because of this spike in population, housing and land prices have increased dramatically, making it very difficult to find affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity has built over 300 homes on the island that have 30 year zero percent interest mortgages, making them much more affordable for people in the poorer neighborhoods of Johns Island.


Recreational Activities:

Johns Island is both close to Charleston and many beautiful beaches, so we will spend our time not volunteering exploring the city of Charleston or going to visit one of the many beautiful beaches in the area! We also may rent kayaks for a few hours to explore the barrier islands. There is a ton to do in the area, so as the trip gets closer we would love to hear what everyone wants to do around the area.


About the Site Leaders:

Chad (cl5bs) is a 3rd year pre-med, human biology major from Harrisonburg, VA. He loves watching and playing every type of sport, but especially soccer, basketball, and golf. On a long road trip he will most likely be jamming to the typical mix of Taylor Swift, country, and a lot of rap, and is not afraid to sing along despite his lack of musical talent. Last year he led another trip with Celeste to Tuscaloosa, AL where their group worked with Habitat for Humanity also.  His first year he went to Annapolis, MD to work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. On both trips, he met a ton of amazing people while working with organizations that were making a big difference those communities. He is incredibly excited to be leading a trip this year and is working to make this trip as meaningful as his last two!

Celeste (cmm6zq) is a 3rd year nursing student (potential Spanish minor, we’ll see) from Arlington, VA. She has a love-hate relationship with running, a love for anything in miniature size (especially chocolate chips) and a passion for quoting movies. People make fun of her for making an insane amount of lists and for cooking Indian Lasagna as a typical dinner. She loves ASB and can talk your ear off about it. She serves as the Secretary of ASB Exec and is so excited to lead a second trip with Chad. Her favorite thing about ASB is meeting new people, spending a week serving new communities with them and then staying friends with them back on Grounds. She was a participant on the Nashville trip her first year and led to Tuscaloosa last year. She is super excited to lead again this year and meet everyone on the trip!