Many families live their whole lives without owning their own home. Some families may never even live in a home. It may not for lack of desire to live in a home, but because they can’t afford it.
Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization, helps families get into homes – an opportunity they never could have afforded on their own. The organization enlists the help of volunteers and donations from companies and individuals to build these homes.
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization with a chapter here in Utah County.
The website of this local chapter explains their purpose of obtaining land through volunteer labor and donations to “build simple, decent homes in Utah County.” Qualified recipients of these houses help with the building of the home, and then purchase the home at cost, with no profit gained by the organization. These families’ monthly payments go into a “revolving fund” to help finance the building of more such homes.
UVU has its own chapter here on campus to help with Habitat for Humanity in Utah County.
LeAnn Hillam, the programs coordinator for the Utah County chapter, talks about the UVU chapter, made official a year ago this fall.
“The chapter provides not only volunteer labor for us, they also fundraise and advocate,” Hillam said. “When they come out and build as a group, there is a social aspect that they were not getting prior to the chapter.”
UVU’s campus chapter has helped in building three homes for local families, recently helping finish the third home in Springville.
The Springville home was framed buy UVU Building Construction Students, and many other students helped in decorating and filling the cupboards with food.
Amy Roloff, as made famous by TLC’s “Little People, Big World” reality television show, as well as President Holland’s wife Paige Holland, also provided her assistance to the organization.
“The UVU Women’s Resource Center sponsored a day during our Women Build Week,” Hillman said. “Female students, staff, and faculty came out to [work] on the UVU sponsored house.”
The UVU chapter, led by student Program Coordinator Kylee Holt, will continue to help in raising funds to build homes through organizing the “No Snow Indoor 5K” to be held in January. They will also hold an improve comedy night in the spring.
Students wanting to join the UVU chapter, or just help build homes, can join the Habitat for Humanity UVU Chapter’s Facebook page to see which days they need help.
By Dale Jones
Photos courtesy of Matt Chambers – UVU