02/21/07

RAISING FUNDS TO RAISE THE ROOF

In 2004, these Hounds on spring break built a Habitat for Humanity house in Rocky Mount, North Caronlina. This year Moravians will build one on campus, but the first challenge is raising the funds for materials.

 "To my knowledge, there’s nobody else doing anything like our Homecoming Build," says Phyllis Walsh, coordinator of community service at Moravian College. During the 2007 homecoming week, the Moravian chapter of Habitat for Humanity International will build the exterior frame (and some interior walls, if time permits) of a single-family home on campus. The framed walls will then be stacked and transported to a Lehigh Valley site where construction will be completed, and the home made available to a family in need. Projects like this are usually done by larger universities and colleges, which have the means to construct an entire house and convey it as a unit to its destination. But during last year’s all-campus service day, some Moravian volunteers worked on a Habitat frame-it-here-assemble-there project and wondered if that approach, developed as a response to Hurricane Katrina, couldn’t be done on the Moravian campus.

It can, and this fall plenty of volunteers will be needed to do everything from swing hammers to carry bottled water. But right now, the priority is finding money to buy materials: the lumber will cost $4,000. Habitat for Humanity International likes the idea so much that they’ve promised $2,000 in matching funds, so the Moravian community only needs to raise half the total—provided it’s in hand by March 31. "Our Habitat chapter is going public with a challenge to other campus organizations, to faculty and staff, to student groups," Phyllis says. "Come up with whatever creative idea you can to help us raise funds." Bake and sell cupcakes. Shovel snow. Raffle off gently used goods. And if a $2,000 goal seems challenging, consider this: it breaks down to just $20.41 from each of the College’s 98 clubs, organizations and sports teams.

Contact Phyllis Walsh, x1602, to discuss fund-raising ideas or to make a donation.