Hilton Head, SC
Type of Service
Habitat for Humanity
Site Leader Description #1
Anthony Murphy-Neilson is a 4th year from Herndon, Virginia, who is double-majoring in Environmental Science and Music. He has loved both his trips to Hilton Head - as participant in 2019 and Site Leader in 2020, both with Caroline! At UVA, he dabbles in such activities as the Charlottesville Symphony, Swing Dance Club, Club Swim, Extinction Club, and a cappella as Music Director of HoosITS. He’s a big old nerd for nerdy things like classical music, Harry Potter, and audio production, and started a podcast during the pandemic! Oh and trees. There are some awesome trees in Hilton Head, and he will not shut up about them.
Site Leader Description #2
Caroline Caruso is a 4th year from Chicago, Illinois majoring in Sociology. She traveled to Hilton Head as a participant in 2019 and a site leader in 2020—both times with Anthony! In Charlottesville, you can find her playing club water polo, hiking in Shenandoah, or hanging out with her ASBesties on the ASB exec board. She is a sucker for the soundtrack of The Muppet Movie (1979), music festival mosh-pits, and everything about her hometown of Chicago. And she will require you to submit your favorite songs to the Hilton Head spring break Spotify playlist — what other way is there to spend an 8-hour drive??
Our trip will start bright and early on Saturday, March 5th for the 8 hour drive to Hilton Head, South Carolina! We will be using site leaders’ cars for transportation to and from Charlottesville, as well as any excursions. We will return on Saturday, March 12th. Our lodging is provided by Habitat for Humanity, so we’ll be staying in a condo with a kitchen, showers, and access to the beach (!!). We will be able to make breakfast, pack lunches, and have group dinners.
We will be building houses with Habitat for Humanity, but don’t worry — no previous construction skills are required! Be prepared to get a little dirty and learn a lot of new skills.
We are lucky enough to work with two amazing service organizations on the island, making this trip a perfect combination for those passionate about both housing justice and environmental justice.
We’ll be working with the Hilton Head chapter of Habitat for Humanity on “Phase 2” of a community of houses on the island. This organization builds new homes for families in need, and has constructed over 100 homes in Hilton Head since its establishment in 1990. Our shifts will start at 8 AM and likely end around 2 PM. We will also have the opportunity to work with The Outside Foundation, a local organization focused on educating children and protecting Hilton Head’s ecosystems. In the past, our service for the Outside Foundation included cleanup on smaller outer islands.
Most volunteering shifts will end at 2 PM, so we’ll have plenty of time to explore the island and surrounding areas. This includes swimming, biking, hiking, boat tours, and even kayaking (courtesy of the Outside Foundation).
Hilton Head Island’s beautiful beaches and unique environment have made it one of America’s most popular vacation destinations. However, the region’s booming tourism industry has resulted in huge social and economic disparities between wealthy visitors and native islanders — some of whom have lived in Hilton Head since before the Civil War. The expansion of large resorts and gated communities, coupled with the annual dangers of hurricane season, contributes to the community’s ongoing housing crisis.