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Out in the Cold: Habitat for Humanity Holds Shack-a-thon Event

(Posted November 19, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The large cardboard boxes will litter Juniata College's 18th Street brick pathway, but the flimsy containers will not be garbage, but rather shelter for a contingent of students from the college's Habitat for Humanity chapter, staging its annual Shack-a-thon from 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30 to 8 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1.
Habitat for Humanity, which is Juniata's largest student-run service club, will collect and use cardboard boxes, which will be located on the Juniata quad in front of the von Liebig Center for Science, as shelters for a night to raise awareness that not every person in America can find affordable housing, or in some cases, any housing at all.
Unlike many people who sleep on the streets, the Juniata students will bring pillows, heavy-duty sleeping bags and a portable light or two, to help pass the night.
The goal of the Shack-a-thon is to have each student raise $100 from sponsors to help fund a spring break trip to Lakeland, Fla. where the club will participate in a house-building project. Typically, the club raises between $1,000 and $2,000 each year from the Shack-a-thon event.
About 25 students are expected to take part in the event. In addition to the spring break trip, the club also uses funds collected through the event to purchase new supplies and tools. Currently, the club is working on building projects in Mount Union, Pa. (with Huntingdon's chapter) and Colburn, Pa. (with the State College, Pa. affiliate).
"Every other year we go abroad to help out with a Global Village building project and last summer we went to Thailand,\" says Jessica Saive, a senior from Altoona, Pa. and co-president of Juniata's Habitat for Humanity chapter. "This summer we are trying to organize a trip to an Indian reservation in South Dakota.\" Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that brings families and communities in need together with volunteers and resources to build decent, affordable housing and eliminate substandard housing and homelessness. Habitat houses are sold with no profit made; homeowners contribute "sweat equity\" and housing payments are recycled to build additional houses. Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization that welcomes volunteers from all faiths who are committed to Habitat's goal of eliminating poverty housing.
Those who are interested in contributing to the cause of Juniata's Habitat for Humanity can write to: JC Habitat for Humanity, 887 Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pa. 16652. For more information, check out Juniata's Habitat for Humanity Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/clubs/habitat.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.