Students "lived" in cardboard boxes to raise awareness
about poverty and homelessness.
here to view a slideshow of photos from the
Randolph-Macon College students paid homage to World Habitat Week October 4-8, 2010.
This annual event is an opportunity for Habitat for Humanity, the United Nations
and organizations around the world to join forces in raising awareness about the
global housing crisis.
On October 4, members of the college’s Habitat for Humanity (H4H) chapter “lived”
in cardboard boxes all day to raise awareness on campus about poverty and homelessness.
Other student organizations
also supported H4H by sponsoring a box for the day. All donations received were
donated to the Hanover County Habitat for Humanity, which uses 100% of all donations
to build homes for Hanover County families.
“This was an opportunity for our students to educate themselves and their community
and to advocate for decent, affordable homes,” says Christina Brown, assistant director
of residence life and housing at R-MC.
The State of Poverty in 2010
On Wednesday, October 6, Jose Quinonez, the director of Advocacy for Habitat for
Humanity International, presented “The State of Poverty in 2010” to R-MC students
and members of the community. Quinonez has served Habitat for Humanity and other
non-profit organizations for many years and travels the world to aid in the battle
against substandard housing conditions and poverty. Quinonez told the audience that,
according to current data, the rate of poverty in the world will continue to increase
and the need for decent affordable housing will skyrocket. He also discussed what
Habitat and volunteers all around the world are doing to address the situation.
Quinonez encouraged students to get involved by working with their local H4H affiliates.
Alternative Spring Break
Each year, students involved in the college’s Habitat for Humanity chapter have
the opportunity to participate in an Alternative Spring Break (ASB). Students have
traveled to Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida, where they put their energy and talent
to use building homes.
In 2010, R-MC’s Habitat chapter traveled to Fort Lauderdale, where they worked with
the Broward County Habitat Affiliate to build multiple homes in a Habitat community.
“Forty-six students and two advisors were able to go on the trip because of students’
fundraising efforts and generous donations from parents and alumni,” says Brown.
The R-MC Habitat for Humanity Chapter raised over $18,000. R-MC students helped
build four houses in Fort Lauderdale. “The houses were in different phases of construction,
so each student was able to work on a variety of projects throughout the week, from
putting up a roof to installing drywall to landscaping,” explains Brown. Students
worked side by side with homeowners, something Brown found especially meaningful.
“It was an amazing experience because the homeowners shared their stories, and they
were very grateful for our help.”
Two R-MC alumni, Jay Pitts ’85 and Maryann Miller ’84, also joined the group for
a day on the build site. “One afternoon after the build ended the R-MC students
were able to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti,” says Brown. “They went
to a warehouse and sorted clothing and food to be shipped to Haiti. The R-MC group
was able to accomplish enough to put the shipment ahead one month!”
This year the Habitat Chapter has 50 students signed up to attend the Alternative
Spring Break Trip. “The group is already working to raise the necessary funds and
select a build site,” says Brown.