Students prepare ‘The House that WVU Built’
Published: Monday, January 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 00:01
Students at West Virginia University have the opportunity to reach out and serve the local community through a University project designed to provide an underprivileged Morgantown family with "a decent place to live."
The House That WVU Built is a continuing service project through the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Division of Design & Merchandising students in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Monongalia County.
The project intends to construct a new home for a family in need in Morgantown. The project began as a student assignment to develop a fundraising campaign and provide service to the Morgantown community.
The house will be constructed this spring. Barbara Lingle, visiting assistant professor in the Division of Design & Merchandising Studies, said Habitat for Humanity is in the process of interviewing and selecting the family to build the home for now.
"Habitat for Humanity has a very extensive process to select this family. They have their own guidelines and review, but the nice thing about Habitat is that it's a ‘hands up' not a ‘hands out' project," Lingle said.
Kelly Dodds, public relations and media director for the project, is working with a team to get more campus and community involvement. Dodds is currently working on her capstone through the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism and said she chose the project to involve the campus in community outreach efforts.
"My main role is to get the campus more involved with the project," Dodds said. "I picked this project because I thought it was really great that Habitat picked Morgantown out of all the places they could've built this house.
Morgantown is such a different city because there's the college kids, but there's also families that need our help here, as well, and as students we don't usually see that aspect."
Lingle said the project will provide students with the opportunity to work together to give back to the community on a more personal level.
"I feel that it's important that the WVU community and the Morgantown community work together," Lingle said. "This service project is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know the students and for the students to give back to the community in which they live, work and play. It's a very worthwhile project for the university and the town."
Dodds said the organization has held various fundraisers for the project, and there will be many more initiatives throughout the upcoming months to raise the rest of the money needed for the project.
"We're going to start having benefits to raise money because we need people to donate. We just want to promote this event to the campus and get many people involved because it is a really good cause," Dodds said. "Once we have a selected family to build for, it will be more of their story, and we hope that will interest people to help, as well."
Lingle said individuals can buy a foundation block or a hammer for the construction of the house as well as donate or even volunteer time to help build the home.
Those interested in volunteering or donating to the project can contact Lingle at Barbara.Lingle@mail.wvu.edu.