Building for the Future

Kemah Washington
Kemah Washington: volunteer, student, leader.











Most people have heard about Habitat for Humanity at some time in their lives. Yet, many don't know that they can become involved or how to go about it! On Saturday, March 26, the Graduate School, along with the University Graduate Students Association, partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County for the 2011 Graduate Students Day of Service as part of Graduate Education Week. A 32-member volunteer team consisting of graduate students, faculty, and staff participated in the Habitat DeConstruction Program, which salvages usable building materials from residential homes. The donated materials are then sold at the ReStore to raise funds for other Habitat homes in Wake County.

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County partners with homeowner families, sponsors, and volunteers, to build safe and affordable housing for qualified home buyers. The houses are not sold for profit but rather with the goal to make a positive change in lives throughout the local community. "Changing a plot of dirt into a house is dramatic, but the real change is what happens when a family transitions out of poverty housing."

Volunteers discover that working with Habitat for Humanity is a positive experience for them as well. No experience is required to volunteer -- training comes from staff and more experienced volunteers. And participants are coached in both construction and deconstruction! By the end of a project, volunteers come away with not only some useful construction skills, but the knowledge that they have helped a less-fortunate family and given back to their community. It's a WIN for everyone!

For those of you who missed it, check out what we did and who was there (video). Hope to see you next year!

And for more information about Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, please visit their website at

Click here to view archived Graduate School stories.