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Students host first local Act! Speak! Build! Week

March 26, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University students are hosting the first local observance of Act! Speak! Build! Week to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

WMU's Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter is planning a full seven days of events in conjunction with the week, which runs from Sunday through Saturday, March 29-April 4. All of the events are open to the public and will be held on WMU's main campus.

The goal of Act! Speak! Build! Week is to inform the local community about the mission of Habitat for Humanity and how to get involved with the Habitat movement. By participating in the international observance, members of WMU Habitat chapter hope to inspire people, especially students, to take action through volunteering, advocacy and fund raising.

"The community's success depends on the school's success, and the school's success depends on the community's success," says Mark McKeon, one of the campus chapter's leaders. "This weeklong event is an opportunity for students and community members to learn how to better both by volunteering for Habitat."

Malory Manderfield, co-president of the campus chapter adds that "It's great that our chapter is finally doing this. Our whole group knows what Habitat does for people in substandard housing, but it's time for the rest of the students and community to know too."

Act! Speak! Build! Week activities

  • Monday, March 30, and Wednesday, April 1--There will be nail-pounding races throughout the day at the West Campus Promenade flagpoles near the Lee Honors College Building. Students who enter the races can win prizes from the Habitat ReStore.
  • Tuesday, March 31--There will be a Spaghetti Dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Peace Center, located in the basement of the Wesley Foundation. A program starting at 5 p.m. will provide information about Habitat's affordable housing mission. Speaking will be Habitat homeowners and volunteers, Don Jones, executive director of Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity, and Sam Lealofi, president of KVHH's board of directors. Dinner will be served from 6 to 8 p.m. while WMU students perform live jazz music. The dinner is free, but donations are encouraged. For more information, contact Jennifer McGinnis at (248) 464-4515.
  • Thursday, April 2--There will be a bake sale fund-raiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the College of Health and Human Services Building. Tool-shaped cookies, Habitat-logo cupcakes and various other treats will be on sale.
  • Thursday, April 2--There will be a "Welcome Home Craft Day" gathering from 4 to 6 p.m. in Kanley Chapel. Participants may chat with members of the campus Habitat chapter, as well as build and decorate birdhouses and window flower boxes as housewarming gifts for new Habitat homeowners.
  • Saturday, April 4--There will be a Build Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will work on a Habitat construction site and learn what goes into the building of a home. Plans for the day are to get hands dirty and do some landscaping. Those wishing to volunteer for Build Day may sign up on the bulletin board in Room 1160 Kanley Chapel or call Malory Manderfield at (906) 281-7177.

The WMU Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter was founded by United Campus Ministries in 1988. The campus chapter partners with KVHH to help build eight to 10 homes each year in Kalamazoo County.

KVHH began in 1983 and is one of more than 1,700 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International. There are Habitat affiliates in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and 90 other countries. Michigan has 79 Habitat affiliates.

For more information about Act! Speak! Build! Week, contact the KVHH's Jennifer McGinnis at (269) 344-2443 or (248) 464-4515. For more information about how to help build or buy a Habitat home, visit Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity online or call (269) 344-2443.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400