Organization Spotlight: Purdue's Habitat for Humanity

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Purdue’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity gives students hands-on experience constructing houses for families with low socioeconomic backgrounds in Lafayette and in the surrounding communities. This year the chapter is celebrating its 30th anniversary as an organization!

The chapter holds various social awareness events and fundraisers to raise money for housing construction and to educate those locally and nationally about the lack of housing due to poverty. The Act! Speak! Build! Week is the chapter’s biggest awareness event of the year. Maddie Brown, one of the chapter’s officers, said this about last year’s event: “The students constructed a shed on Memorial Mall with the assistance of Habitat members. We later donated the shed to a local affiliate for them to use.”

Typically, fifteen to twenty students go on Saturday builds to Lafayette and Crawfordsville to assist with Habitat for Humanity projects. Each member who goes on these builds is assigned a task, which includes framing, insulation, cabinetry, or painting. Students do not need previous building experience because there is on-site training provided.

Additionally, Purdue’s Habitat usually hosts a two-hour Zumba marathon on campus every semester, which is open to all Purdue students and faculty. This semester’s Zumba sessions will be taking place before spring break.

During spring break, however, students take on the Collegiate Challenge, for which they travel to different countries to work with other university students on promoting and working on affordable housing. This semester twenty Purdue students are going to Holland, Michigan and Newland, North Carolina.

Another group of twenty-one Purdue students and faculty are traveling to Las Penitas, Nicaragua, where members are given a chance to give back on an international scale by building houses for the community. Not only is this experience rewarding, but it allows members to explore different countries and to take part in cultures different from their own.

Finally, in May, the Habitat hosts a 450-mile Fun Bike Ride starting in Lafayette and ending in Indianapolis. This bike ride is a great chance for students to make new friends, to release some stress from finals, and to see the beauty of central Indiana.

Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to provide affordable housing to numerous communities across the globe. Purdue’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity is passionate about achieving this goal by building houses and eliminating poverty. Students who are interested in becoming a member and participating in future events and trips can visit the Purdue chapter’s website.