College students visit El Paso to build houses for low-income families

El Paso, TX (March 9, 2016) - United Way of El Paso County (UWEPC) has welcomed 15 college students from across the country who’ve decided to trade in their beach towel for a tool belt to participate in UWEPC’s 8th Alternative Spring Break (ASB).


Students from universities such as Norte Dame, Baylor University, Western Kentucky, and also the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College, to name a few, began on Sunday their weeklong service project focused on framing houses with the Lower Valley Housing Corporation. Volunteers are helping El Paso families who through LVHC’s mutual self-help construction program must build 65 percent of their 3-bedroom home.  The homes will be sold to them at $64,500 with zero down payments.


The students will tour different El Paso landmarks including nonprofit agencies, Fort Bliss, UTEP, the Southwest University Stadium and will go on a sunrise hike led by community leader Susie Byrd up the Franklin Mountains. Kemp Smith Law has generously sponsored the 2016 ASB program. 


“This week will exhaust you in the best way possible,” said Mackenzie Shaffer, ASB 2015 participant. “I gained friendships, basic building knowledge, and leadership/teamwork experience. The best part was probably working with new best friends from all over the country to help families in need. I absolutely loved it.”




Construction Day

Thursday, March 10 at 1:00 p.m.


Follow I-10 East and Take Exit 3 (Eastlake)

Take Eastlake Blvd for 4.6 miles

Turn right onto N Kenazo Ave

Turn left onto Bill Newkirk Way

Work site is on Lago di Garda Ct.




Elizabeth Gamez

Marketing & Communications Manager

(915) 533 2434 ext. 222




About The United Way of El Paso County

The United Way of El Paso County is an independent, locally governed and community-supported nonprofit agency that is focused on identifying and making a measurable change in three areas:  Education, Basic Needs, and Income through funding, advocacy, creating collaborative partnerships, and developing volunteer resources. The organization, which has been in El Paso for over 85 years, focuses on creating long-term, lasting change to make El Paso a better community for everyone. United Way also serves as the manager/fiscal agent for the city, and county employee campaigns.  For more information, please visit