Thursday, Jul 09, 2020

A Few Clouds, 92 °F


Nelsonville house under construction

Photo courtesy of: OU Habitat for Humanity


Psalm 91 written on beam in new house

Photo courtesy of: OU Habitat for Humanity


Habitat volunteers pose in front of Rocky Mount (N.C.) Area's Habitat for Humanity headquarters

Photo courtesy of: OU Habitat for Humanity

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Ohio University Habitat for Humanity working on second build

Building houses, contributing to the community

The Ohio University student chapter of Habitat for Humanity is seeking both volunteers and donations as it continues work on its second independent housing project.

Last year after raising $30,000, students were able to complete the first Ohio University-sponsored house in Jacksonville, Ohio, last year. Members are now working on their second house, which is located in Nelsonville, Ohio.

"The house in Jacksonville was the first ever OU Habitat House," said Public Relations Chair Jonathan Renard. "Athens has built houses, Women Raise the Roof has built houses, but this was the first time we raised enough money to build our own house."

The funds to build the house came from annual events, grant writing and small fundraisers. Last year they were awarded a $10,000 grant from State Farm Insurance to help with their build. Other major fundraising events included the "Run for Cover" 5k race and "Cardboard City," where community members stay the night in cardboard boxes to raise awareness for the cause.

"We're also always doing little fundraisers like bake sales," said Renard. "Every week there is something new."

In addition to fundraising and work in Athens County, members of Habitat for Humanity participate in the Collegiate Challenge. This event takes place three times a year, and 15 to 25 participants spend a week at a job site helping another Habitat affiliate. In previous years challenges have taken place in Biloxi, Miss., Albany, Ga., and Miami, Fla.

Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that seeks to eliminate substandard housing by building homes for people in need.

Volunteers raise money and spend their free time building the houses, which are then sold to a family through a reduced mortgage. Money raised from the mortgage of the finished house is used to fund the next project. House recipients are also expected to provide a number of "sweat equity" hours contributing to the build of their own and other houses.

"Athens County calls it a 'hand up' not a 'hand out,'" said Renard. "We're helping them get back on their feet; we're not just giving them a free house."

The Athens County Habitat for Humanity affiliate consists of an all-women volunteer group Women Raise the Roof, Faith Build Coalition, and the Ohio University student organization. The Ohio University student chapter of Habitat for Humanity has about 80 active members that work with the Athens County affiliate building houses for families throughout the area. Students are active year-round promoting the club, raising money and spending weekends on job sites.

For more information about how to get involved, click here or attend weekly meetings on Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Ohio University Computer Services Center room 121B. Dues are $30 and include the price of a T-shirt.