Habitat for Humanity event to encourage community service, outreach among students

April 18, 2017

Daryn Vlad

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     Cleaning up a park, organizing community events and encouraging youth outreach might be viable ways to build a local community. But some students might literally have the opportunity to do so through community service on campus.

     Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to volunteer in the Habitat for Humanity Service Project on April 20.

     The event, coordinated by the Office of Student Activities and Habitat for Humanity, will allow students to work on building and restoring a home for a low-income family in the Colorado Springs community.

     Students can volunteer from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. at 811 Bunting Ave. in Fountain, Colo., the building site, and at the restore location, 411 S. Wahsatch Ave. from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m.

     As of April 12, 40 total spots were available for the building site and 160 total spots were available for the restore location.

     Habitat for Humanity is an international non-profit organization that helps prepare simple and affordable homes for low-income families to live in. The event is sponsored by OSA, but supported by faculty and staff, resident life and the Dean of Students.

     At this time, OSA is not sure of the various aspects of the house that Habitat for Humanity will have students work on, according to Audri Gilmore, community service and civic engagement coordinator for OSA.

     The organization may bring students in when the basic structure of the walls are up, or closer to the end of the project to do finishing touches on the home.

     “Either way, we will get a lot done if we fill up the time slots,” she said. Students residents have shown interest in working with the community, according to Gilmore.

     “Students have been asking for more impactful, hands-on projects, and we wanted to use organizations we already had partnerships with,” she said.

     Community service has been emphasized in clubs and organizations at UCCS has in general, according to Jake Murphy, OSA graduate assistant.

     “We have seen an increase in not only students wanting to participate in more community service projects, but also community service being a component for student organizations,” said Murphy.

     “It will essentially be a house built by UCCS. I think that’s a pretty impactful connection to have with the community.”

     Students can also volunteer at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, where they can help organize, sort and package materials such as tools and furniture brought in from the community.

     Habitat for Humanity does not only provide for low-income families through their services, according to Murphy.

     “A lot of veterans are homeless or low-income, and I know there is a lot of food insecurity in our community,” said Murphy.

     Greek Life will hold a fundraiser the Wednesday before the Habitat for Humanity Service Project at Buffalo Wild Wings where they will be collecting profits to donate to Habitat for Humanity.

     Though the two projects are not connected, they both contribute to the organization. To RSVP for the event, register through signup.com/ go/cZTLhN.

     To learn more about earning community service hours, contact Gilmore at [email protected] or Murphy at jmurphy5@uccs. edu.