Campus News

Bowdoin Becomes Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity

Story posted September 26, 2001

Bowdoin College has received a charter designating it a campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. The Bowdoin chapter will work with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Bath/Brunswick, and coordinate affordable home building projects under the banner "Bowdoin Builds."

Fundraising, materials acquisition, and construction for Bowdoin Builds will be handled by Bowdoin students, parents, faculty, alumni and staff.

"As Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff unite to fulfill a family's need of better housing, we serve the college's commitment to the common good," said committee co-chair Claire Black, Class of 2004.

The Bath/Brunswick affiliate is leading the effort to locate and acquire land in the greater Brunswick area. Coordinators of the project consider the property search to be particularly urgent. The scarcity of land in Cumberland County often leads to long waits for partner families.

"We cannot accomplish our goal without a piece of land. We're hoping either for a donation or for someone to bring an inexpensive piece of property to our attention," said Black.

Donations of goods and services for fundraisers, and of materials for the build, are also welcome.

Contingent on property acquisition, coordinators hope that the first Bowdoin Builds home will be constructed in the spring of 2002.

With the recent return of students to campus, and an eye toward raising a minimum of $40,000 for the project, the Bowdoin Build is in full swing, with committees forming, fundraisers being planned, and campus organizations signing up volunteers. At a student activities fair held September 5, more than 100 students committed to the project. Coordinators hope that more than 50 percent of the Bowdoin community will participate in one way or another.

"The enthusiasm on campus for this project has been striking," said Professor Tricia Welsch, committee co-chair. "We are especially grateful to the Association of Bowdoin Friends for their generous kick-off donation and support of this student-led initiative."

The Bowdoin College Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity can be reached by e-mail at , or by phone at 721-5642.

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976, and this year celebrates its silver anniversary. HFHI has built more than 100,000 houses around the world, providing more than 500,000 people in more than 2,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.

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