August 28, 2013
Texas Tech students assist on Habitat for Humanity build.
Throughout Welcome Week, the period between freshman move-in and the beginning of classes, new students were introduced to campus and the Lubbock community in a variety of ways.
However, certain students had a unique impact on one Lubbock family by participating in the construction of Habitat for Humanity’s 127th home in the Lubbock area.
“It’s a pretty awesome experience,” said Texas Tech junior and co-president of Tech Habitat Angie Fealy. “It’s one of the first hands-on things you get to do at Texas Tech. You get to see your hard work actually doing something for the community.”
Throughout the week, student volunteers helped pour cement, saw wood and construct the framing of a house in North Lubbock that will eventually be owned by Asya Harris, a Lubbock woman who has been active with Habitat for Humanity and meets the criteria to become a Habitat homeowner.
Building costs were sponsored by a grant from the CH Foundation and First United Methodist Church. Tech Habitat regularly contributes manpower to the Habitat construction sites during Saturday “builds.”
However, Welcome Week provides a special opportunity for new students to get involved.
Ariel Brown, a senior public relations major currently interning with Lubbock Habitat, said students came in groups of up to 20 and each group had a full slate of student volunteers throughout the week.
Student volunteers helped pour cement, saw wood and construct the frame of a house.
“We’ve heard a lot from students who want to come out and learn what we do as a non-profit,” Brown said.
Freshman Alvin Matthew said the project creates a sense of pride he feels for Texas Tech by contributing to a greater good.
“Knowing I helped out before school even started gives me extra confidence,” Matthew said. “Just starting in the first week gives me a mentality to push through anything I set my mind to.”
Tech Habitat is one of the largest student organizations on campus. They send students every Saturday to help build Lubbock homes and some members come so often the construction crews know the students personally.
Welcome Week serves as a major recruitment tool for the organization.
Fealy said she first became involved with Tech Habitat after participating in Welcome Week as a new student.
“Now I understand the entire process: start with the slab, build up from there, put the insulation down, install the floors,” Fealey said. “I just get to see the entire process built from the ground up.”
Even though Welcome Week is over, Tech Habitat will continue working on the project until December, when the home is complete. Next semester, the student organization will donate their spring break to building a home outside of Texas.
“Personally, I never had to deal with poverty,” Fealey said. “I always had food on the table; I always had a roof over my head; I always had clothes on my back. But people are struggling just to get the next meal or living paycheck to paycheck. I think it’s awesome we can provide them with just one fundamental aspect of their life.”
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