Habitat For Humanity benefits communities

 

SDSU offers a wide variety of clubs on campus for students to join. This selection includes sports-related clubs, religious, academic, social and even service-based clubs. One such club, the Habitat for Humanity chapter of SDSU, is devoted entirely to the service and commitment to others through the non-profit organization.

Kylie Moret, the chapter president and a senior pre-pharmacy major, devotes herself to the organization’s cause to support low-income families through the chapter.

“I joined when I was a freshman and have stayed since then,” Moret said. “Giving back to the community was a big reason I got involved freshman year. I wanted to find something where I could give back for the community.”

Internationally, Habitat for Humanity has affected over two million families. Since the Brookings Area chapter started in 1995, the organization has benefitted the community through a number of ways. In Brookings County, 57 houses have been built, 40 house exteriors have been painted or repaired, and the organization has helped invest $2.4 million into the economy. All of this accomplished through the help of thousands of volunteers.

Barbara Johnson, the executive director for the Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity, also believes in the organization’s ability to give back to the community.

“I have been a member of low income class and have lived in substandard housing,” Johnson said. “I know the importance of stability and positive self-concept when a family lives in better conditions.”

Habitat for Humanity is an organization that aims to bring people together to build homes, community and hope. Building these homes with families as a partnership allows volunteers to feel more of a connection with those they help.

“I get a wonderful sense of fulfillment with each family that I work with through the process of improving their living conditions,” Johnson said.

Families that work to build their houses are not given the house by the organization. The families have a mortgage and make monthly payments to Habitat for Humanity that is later used to invest in more houses.

“Having the experience of working with other people to help someone is a really great experience,” Moret said. “It isn’t like Habitat for Humanity gives away the houses. The families have to work on the house itself and work on other houses in the future, so working with those families gives you a neat and unique interaction.”

Kira Loftesness, a freshman majoring in exercise science and nutrition and enrolled in the pre-physician assistant program, believes that this method is a solid way to help everyone in the system.

“It’s a good way to pay it forward,” Loftesness said, “because it puts responsibility back in [the family’s] hands.”

The SDSU Chapter works on monthly projects with the organization either working on houses or working at the ReStore, the organization’s home improvement store where new or gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and more is sold.

Moret would encourage any students interested in the chapter to join, but one does not have to join the chapter to give back to the community.

“You don’t have to go for really long periods of time, and you don’t have to be a part of the chapter itself,” Moret said. “You can just call up the local affiliate and say that you want to volunteer for a couple of hours, or just volunteer and go hang out with your friends. They’ll work with you and they make it easier to help out.”