Olivia Kavanaugh has found ways to give back to her community in Indianapolis since middle school. From service projects such as raking leaves to making fleece blankets for children at local hospitals, she has always sought ways to put others’ needs before her own. Now that she has made Bloomington her home, she continues to serve others by volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore of Monroe County.
“Volunteering at the ReStore has challenged me to take a step back, reevaluate the way I look at different situations, and recognize how fortunate I am to have lived with a house over my head for my entire life,” said Kavanaugh, a sophomore studying biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington.
Despite her busy schedule as a Resident Assistant for the Collins Living-Learning Center, she has volunteered since her freshman year, when she joined the Habitat for Humanity student chapter. Kavanaugh enjoys the opportunity to work with current and potential Habitat for Humanity homeowners. “I appreciate the kindhearted, generous, and accepting culture that the ReStore fosters,” she said.
Her involvement with Habitat led to her participation in it’s Alternative Spring Break Program, through which she traveled to Fort Pierce, Florida. Kavanaugh noted that, while the trip was only a week, her team made an impact by cohesively working each day to finish the total restoration of a house. She appreciated having many opportunities to jump out of her comfort zone and learn new construction skills while finding ways to better connect and serve with the Habitat family helping to build the house alongside them.
With hopes to one day be a pediatric oncologist, she wishes to continue helping improve the lives of others and giving back to her community. “Working with Habitat has challenged me to look at the disparity of the world with a different perspective,” Kavanaugh said.