Thanks to 5,000 volunteers investing more than 20,000 hours on the Habitat Wake construction site, 11 families soon will be homeowners. The project called Build-A-Block brought together Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, the NC State community and many additional sponsors to build homes with 11 families in need. This is the largest collaboration between a Habitat campus chapter and a Habitat affiliate. The new townhouses were dedicated on Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m.at 2412 Kirk Avenue off Lake Wheeler Road.
NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson, who will join the dedication and celebration, announced NC State’s support of Build-A-Block in August 2015 during Packapalooza. Boosted by the long-term success of the Habitat Campus Chapter at NC State, which has helped fundraise and build homes since 1991, the university took the lead in raising $715,000 to cover construction costs in addition to volunteering on site.
“I am tremendously proud that our students have ‘led by doing’ throughout the Build-A-Block project, and helped to meet a pressing need in our community: safe, affordable housing,” Woodson said. Woodson and his wife, Susan, have served as honorary co-chairs of Build-A-Block.
Helping to build the homes has been a rewarding experience for the volunteers, especially the NC State students.
“Habitat provides everything the homeowner needs to get a hand up (not a hand out) and that is why I partner with them. Owning a home improves many facets of life, from personal financial confidence to their children’s school performance,” commented Alexander Simpson, a NC State senior and chair of fundraising for Build-A-Block.
“The size of the project is massive but the important thing to me is the 11 families whose lives we are helping to improve,” Simpson continued. “These families are part of the Habitat family and part of the Wolfpack family as well.”
Numerous sponsors contributed to help fund construction costs and recruit volunteers.
The Habitat Campus Chapter at NC State led the way in fundraising by raising more than $100,000. The NC State Athletics Department was a Platinum Hammer sponsor, contributing $65,000 and asking every NC State team to volunteer on site and help build the homes.
More than 40 sponsors contributed at least $5,000 each to fund the project and thousands of employee volunteer hours to construct the homes. Other Platinum sponsors were ABB, MetLife, and Pergo Flooring.
In addition to the athletes and Campus Chapter volunteers, dozens of other NC State student organizations invested hours on site hammering, sawing, installing insulation, or painting.
“We are so proud of our Campus Chapter leaders and the entire Wolfpack community for making this project a reality and proving that when we work together, anything is possible.” said Mike Giancola, NC State Assistant Vice Provost, who is co-chairing Build-A-Block with NC State student Sarah Paluskeiwicz, past president of the campus chapter.
The Campus Chapter at NC State is one of the strongest Habitat chapters in the country. Since 1996, the chapter has raised more than $350,000 through annual events including Shack-A-Thon and has helped build 22 homes in partnership with Habitat Wake.
For information about Build-A-Block, visit http://www.habitatwake.org/BuildABlock.