Today: Jul 14, 2024

Habitat For Humanity helps Irene clean up Edgewood Park

Ryan IanniSpecial to Southern News
The SCSU chapter of Habitat for Humanity stepped up to help clean local Edgewood Park, which is just stone’s throw from Southern, in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
Stefan Keller, a senior majoring in social work and former Vice President and 4-year member of Habitat for Humanity, was one of the students who led the charge in the collaborative effort to help the town recover from the aftermath of the storm.
Keller said, “The Service Team reached out to other service organizations like Habitat, College Against Cancer, and even the women’s rugby team.”
With this coordinated effort, Habitat was able to successfully clean the park in a timely manner, restoring it back to its pre-hurricane appearance.
“We were there for two or two and a half hours,” said Keller. “We cleaned up a lot of the big branches that were down; there were some blocked trails because of fallen trees, and we got those out of the way too.”
The SCSU chapter of Habitat has been in existence for over a decade, and they have a long history of volunteer work and community service in the local area.
Habitat’s most notable achievements are the “builds” that they help to complete. These “builds” occur when local residents who are otherwise homeless or living in dilapidated houses are sponsored by Habitat. They then have a house built for them and pay much less than the inflated market price.
Erin Dyer, a junior and president of Habitat for Humanity listed off some other volunteer projects that Habitat are involved with. Habitat has gone to places such as Harrisburg, Pa. and West Palm Beach, Fla. to help in various projects like painting and building houses.
“Each year we take a trip during spring break to another state and help with a project where we can,” said Dyer. “We also have a sleep-out for the homeless every year.”
Awareness and fundraising are a big part of what Habitat does, according to Dyer.
Dyer said, “We try to look for new ways of fundraising that aren’t the norm, we don’t just want to do a bake sale.”
Keller also said, “Habitat goes to the Yale Bowl every year to raise awareness about the organization.”
According to Habitat for Humanity’s website, “In the U.S, Habitat for Humanity lends no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans to its beneficiary families.”
This organization makes sure that the families they sponsor get whatever support they need in order to live in a decent, well-built home.
Habitat has been around since 1976 and has been one of the most consistent volunteer programs in the U.S. With some notable contributors to the program such as former President Jimmy Carter, it continues to be in the public eye helping those in need.
Students like Keller and Dyer, along with other hard-working and devoted members, has seen Habitat become one of Southern’s most respected organizations.
Whether it be building homes in the area, traveling to other states to assist where they can, sponsoring a homeless sleep out night, or cleaning a local park after a terrible storm, Habitat is always at the forefront of any volunteer work in the area and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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