Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

Baker students to help construct home in Baldwin City

August 16, 2007

Community service has been a value upheld at Baker University since it opened it doors in 1858.

In honor of its 150th year, Baker students, faculty and staff next spring plan to lay the foundation for a Habitat for Humanity house in Baldwin City.

Ruth Sarna, director of student health services and the Baker coordinator for the project, was pleased students considered Habitat for Humanity as a service project for the sesquicentennial.

"It's always an exciting time because families are so thrilled to get a home," Sarna said. "It's an excellent opportunity for students, the campus and community to get involved in a project that will benefit Baldwin City residents."

Jeremy Hahn, executive director for Lawrence's Habitat for Humanity, said college students have been productive volunteers for past projects.

"Students are some of our most enthusiastic participants," Hahn said. "When you have 20 or 30 people out, you can move quickly on constructing a house and some of the individuals come back again to help with other houses."

The habitat homes cost approximately $65,000 to construct, Hahn said. Before the project begins, land must be purchased or donated and $40,000 must be paid in advance.

'We want to make sure to find a family who lives in Baldwin," Hahn said. "It usually takes 12 to 14 weeks to complete a house, so we would want to have this one done by the summer of 2008."

Hahn encouraged Baldwin families interested in a Habitat for Humanity house to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont, Lawrence. Hahn said Habitat for Humanity looks for families who are living in inadequate housing and who don't have the financial resources to buy a home without some help; families who are financially responsible; and families who are willing to help construct the house.

"Families are supposed to provide 225 hours of 'sweat equity' for each adult in the family," Hahn said. "Most homeowners love to help out. We like for the volunteers to help with the framing, painting and tiling. We hire professionals for the more skilled labor such as electrical and plumbing to make sure it is up to code."

Donations to the Habitat for Humanity project can be made to Joyce Katzer in the Advancement Office at (785) 594-8504 or online at www.bakeru.edu/150 and click on habitat donation.

For more information, contact Sarna at (785) 594-4409 or ruth.sarna@bakeru.edu.

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