Habitat builds 20th home
Emma Borne | Monday, March 31, 2014
Notre Dame Habitat for Humanity is committed to building one home every year for a needy family in the South Bend area.
This year, the club built a home for James and Janice Plump, their daughter and grandson. Pat Laskowski, senior economics and applied mathematics major and co-president of Notre Dame Habitat for Humanity, said the Plump family has never before owned a home.
Laskowski said his favorite part of Habitat is being able to work with the family all year.
“After a whole year of working with somebody, you get to know them so well,” Laskowski said. “They are just so overwhelmed with joy and happiness to finally have this home and you’re there to share it with them. That’s an experience I cannot match with anything else.”
A unique part of Habitat for Humanity is the involvement of the family, Laskowski said. The family has to put in 300 “sweat hours” working on their own homes and the homes of other Habitat families. The family works alongside twenty volunteers from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross during each build, according to the Habitat website.
This year’s home is located in southwest South Bend among several other Habitat houses, Laskowski said.
“It’s actually in the neighborhood of Habitat homes which is actually really exciting,” Laskowski said. “You can be there and you can say ‘Oh, I remember that Habitat build and that Habitat build.’ It’s a great community of people who love their homes.”
Laskowski said each home costs $60,000 and the club has to finance over half of the money to the St. Joseph County Habitat for Humanity affiliate. To do so, the club spends most of the year fundraising.
Laskowski said the club does a “Jail’n’Bail” where you can pay for a friend to get arrested and bailed out of a “jail” on South Quad. Part of the funds from Keenan Hall’s Muddy Sunday event also goes to the club. Their next fundraiser is a pizza eating competition in two weeks.
Though the build for last Saturday was cancelled, Pat said the house would still be officially completed May 3rd, when it would be blessed and handed over to the family.
Notre Dame Habitat for Humanity is special, Laskowski said. It is unlike any other college Habitat program and he hopes to see that continue for years to come.
“We are the longest current running collegiate chapter in the United States,” Laskowski said. “This is our twentieth house in a row, so twenty years, twenty houses. … I’d like to see us continue that and to never see that falter.”