Habitat for Humanity lends a hand

Nicole Hanson

On Sept. 25, Habitat for Humanity raised awareness for poverty and homelessness by holding its annual Shack-A-Thon event on the Quad. During Shack-A-Thon, participants were given duct tape and cardboard boxes to build the shelters they resided in from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning.

shackathononlineHabitat for Humanity

Secretary of Habitat for Humanity Danielle Riley said Shack-A-Thon, which has been running for several years, had about 20 people participating this year. The group also collects donations for Habitat for Humanity in the New Haven area.

Although Habitat for Humanity does monthly builds in New Haven and holds fundraisers throughout the year, Riley said Shack-A-Thon is a great way to gain perspective.

“I think that we don’t realize how important having a home is,” Riley said. “We definitely take it for granted.”

Like Riley, Senior Shauncey Coleman said she thinks the event makes people aware of what they really have.

“Since the event is on the Quad, we have the chance to explain our cause to people passing,” Coleman said. “We really don’t realize how lucky we are to have a bed to sleep in.”

Senior Gaby Stasiowski said she truly loves working with Habitat for Humanity, and was even involved with the organization in high school.

“I really love giving back to the homeless community,” Stasiowski said. “Two of my roommates are also members of Habitat for Humanity, and it’s nice for us to do something charitable together.”

Aside from raising awareness of the struggles the homeless community endures, Gabrielle Lesnett, the public relations chair of the organization, said they also give away prizes during Shack-A-Thon.

“Once the shelters are built, we give prizes for the most durable and the most creative,” Lesnett said.

Even though members of Habitat for Humanity said they enjoy building their shelters overnight, Coleman pointed out that homeless people often have no resources to construct any type of shelter.

“Right now we have resources like duct tape and cardboard, but homeless people don’t have any resources to build a shelter,” Coleman said.

As temperatures started to drop during the event, Stasiowski said Shack-A-Thon truly makes one realize what they often take for granted.