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Volume 79

Habitat for Humanity asks UTM to get involved


Published (Volume 79, No. 9)


The McMullen family is going home.

Well, not quite yet. First, their home has to be built.

The McMullen’s are part of the Habitat for Humanity program, and they’ve been the ones chosen to have a new home built in Greenfield. This comes after they had submitted an application to a committee that screens each applicant, then they go through a round of interviews. The committee will then go to the home to see if they truly need new housing.

“If they already have decent housing, then there is no need to give them a new one,” says Nancy Miller- Herron, part of the committee that looks at applicants. “We want people who are the working poor, people who don’t make enough to make payments on a home of their own.”

And the McMullen’s were definitely in need of a new home. With two parents and five children in a small house, it was easy to see that they were deserving of a new home.

Of course, despite what some people may think, getting a home from Habitat for Humanity is not free.

“Each family has to make a small down payment, and put in so many ‘sweat hours’ working on their house or another house,” says Miller-Herron.

And you can be a part of it all. UTM has its very own Habitat for Humanity organization

“The organization has been on campus since the spring of 2006,” says John Schommer, adviser for the organization. “We actually do what we can to help the Weakley County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. We help with fundraisers and organize work parties to go out to the houses. We even built a shed in the Quad. But our main goal is to keep the student public informed.”

The UTM chapter has been helping out with the project in Greenfield, though it’s been tough.

“Due to all the rain that’s been happening, we’ve been having foundation problems,” says Schommer. “We hope to have the foundation up by Saturday, and have the house built by mid-November.”

In the meantime, they’ve been helping out with a house in Union City.
The student chapter hasn’t actually had any meetings yet this semester, but that hasn’t deterred Schommer. “I’ve been extremely busy, but I’m planning on getting the student chapter structured.”

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the organization, www.habitat.org says that “through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem — decent housing for all.”

“Today, Habitat for Humanity has built over 200,000 homes”, says www.habitat.org. They have sheltered over 1,000,000 people in more than 3,000 communities.

If you want to be a part of Habitat for Humanity, you can send Schommer an email at jschomme@utm.edu. He has a listserv that will let everyone know about what’s going on and where.

You can also contact the Weakley County chapter at habitat2@utm.edu.

So next time you are complaining about having nothing to do on the weekends, then this might be something worth looking into. It’s something to make you feel good, and helps someone out in the community at the same time.

And you can be sure the McMullen family will be grateful.