There are always volunteer opportunities that allow students to assist their communities, but not many go so far as constructing housing and other buildings for those in need. “[We] believe in the idea of everyone having a place to call home and somewhere to go after a long hard day of work.” That is the goal of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) summed up by the organization’s President, Kaylee McBride.
HFH works toward improving communities both locally and nationwide, and the group raises funds to make that happen. McBride also touches on how the organization’s purpose is deeper than simply building for the community. “Habitat works towards building stability and self-reliance in partnership with the people and families in need of an affordable home.”
Meetings take place every Sunday at 6 p.m. in Jarvis 114. McBride describes these meetings as laid back and friendly. They begin with icebreaker activities and general chit chat, then everyone gets together to discuss ideas for fundraisers and upcoming events. Attendance is suggested but not required, and the organization welcomes people of all skill levels who want to be a part of the family.
Outside of the meetings, HFH hosts fundraisers and go on “builds” in the local area. Once spring season comes around, they like to build as much as they can in the week-long spring break period.
McBride also spoke of the projects they have already done or are planning on doing. They have completed builds in both Menomonie and Minneapolis so far this year. She explained the humbling feeling of constructing a home that someone can raise a family and make memories in. During the spring, Habitat for Humanity tries to go somewhere south on spring break since it’s usually too cold to build here in Wisconsin during that time of the year. Last year they went to Raleigh, North Carolina and worked on an entire neighborhood of houses.
McBride’s favorite part of being in the organization is the people. “I think it’s crazy how a group of total strangers can be thrown together and suddenly become such good friends.” She is thankful for the “wonderful people” Habitat for Humanity has allowed her to meet and the experience it has allowed her to have. She reassured the lack of need for skills, as when she started, she had little to no interest in building homes or any knowledge of power tools whatsoever. She is appreciative of the organization for giving her the opportunity to put her leadership skills to use by giving back to her community and others around her. McBride is very happy to have had the opportunity to step up and become president of the club.
“If you want to have a one-of-a-kind experience that you’ll remember forever, meet friends that will last a lifetime and reach out in the community in order to change the lives of countless people, join Habitat for Humanity!” reads their OrgSync description. From research, input from members and speaking with McBride, Habitat for Humanity comes off as a very inviting and helpful place to be. The group wants to help people in need of homes or improve the condition of the home in which they are forced to live in. McBride gives her final opinion; “Basically, everyone should be in Habitat for Humanity because it is super fun, you learn new things and you will meet incredible people,” which puts the idea of Habitat for Humanity into a nutshell.