Sam Houston State’s Center for Leadership and Service along with Habitat for Humanity is preparing to help build homes for the less fortunate in Bryan, TX.
This November, Sarah Hagler, the graduate assistant for Service Programs, alongside Habitat for Humanity, will begin its ‘Building Homes, Building Hopes’ service project.
According to Hagler, the purpose of the project is to introduce SHSU students to the social issues of affordable housing, and give students a way to address this issue by providing a hands-on project.
“Building Homes, Building Hopes is the name I chose for this project because I think it encompasses the essence of what we are trying to accomplish when we do Habitat for Humanity trips,” Hagler said.
This is the second semester that Hagler and Habitat for Humanity have hosted this project. Their plan is to hold it once a semester, given that it has acquired a lot of interest amongst the SHSU community.
“On the outside, it may look like we are constructing a house, but truly we are helping a family find their hope in whatever situation they happen to be in that led them to pursue a Habitat house,” Hagler said.
The project will be taking place in Bryan, TX, in a neighborhood that is primarily created for Habitat homes. Only 10 students were chosen to participate. The trip was filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
“This semester, we got a huge influx of registration forms as soon as they were made available, and we were able to fill the trip in less than two days.”
Habitat for Humanity is an international non-profit organization founded in 1976. It is devoted to building “simple, decent, and affordable” housing for those that might otherwise be unable to provide it for themselves, and has addressed the issues of poverty housing all over the world.
“One important fact to note is that Habitat for Humanity is not a handout,” Hagler said. “The families wishing to move into their own habitat house must complete a certain number of “sweaty equity” hours, meaning that they must help construct their own or someone else’s house, or put in hours at the ReStore Thrift Store run by Habitat.”
Hagler’s responsibilities in the program include planning service opportunities for SHSU students and introducing them to the importance of giving back.
“I first became involved with Habitat for Humanity during spring break in 2012, where I helped lead an alternative spring break trip to Lake Charles, LA to work with the Calcasieu Area Habitat for Humanity chapter,” Hagler said. “We spent the week completing construction projects on homes in different states of development and learning about the issue of affordable housing.”
Hagler said that when she and the other volunteers returned to Huntsville, they realized there was no Walker County or Huntsville chapter of Habitat for Humanity to allow them to continue the work they had done in Louisiana.
“It wasn’t until last year that I was able to reach out to the chapter in Bryan/College Station to see if they would be willing to host a team from SHSU,” Hagler said. “We ended up leading our first trip to the area in April of this year and students really seemed to enjoy it, so we decided to go ahead and plan another project for November.”
For more information about this event or other Habitat for Humanity volunteering opportunities, contact Sarah Hagler at 936-294-1976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.