Group aims to sponsor home for local family

The Florida A&M University chapter of Habitat for Humanity is attempting to raise between $35,000 and $38,000 to build a house for a low income family.

“Our main goal is to have a habitat house built in FAMU’s name,” said chapter president Andrea Holmes.

If the FAMU chapter can raise the money, they will control the building of the house. The situation is the same with other habitat houses, meaning the group who raises the funds controls the house’s construction. As a result, the number of volunteers from the FAMU chapter who can be used for the project might be limited.

“We have a large chapter,” said Holmes, a fourth-year business student from Baton Rouge, La.

“Sometimes we come to a site and they say they only have room for two people,” she said.

The FAMU chapter has been on campus for eight years, and they presently have $2,300 in their savings account to go toward the house.

“I’m hoping we can raise the money within the next two years,” Holmes said.

The chapter has been awarded a match grant under which both they and the Florida State University chapter will each have to raise $3,750. The National Habitat for Humanity will then match that with another $7,500.

Habitat for Humanity will go to FAMU’s Student Senate and ask for help with the funds for the match grant, because those funds are due Dec. 1.

“I think what they’re doing is great,” said Trimicia Young, a senior computer information science student.

“As a college in a community, we should be able to use our resources to help people in need.”

According to Tamara Lacher, volunteer coordinator for the Tallahassee chapter of Habitat for Humanity, college chapters have come together with local chapters all over the United States to build six houses.

Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit organization that builds houses for low-income families.

The incomes of the families are between $20,000 and $30,000 a year. The families help build their homes using what are called sweat equity hours. While volunteers do not do any electrical work, they receive safety training and perform deeds such as painting and laying grass.

“Over the two years I’ve worked with Habitat, the FAMU chapter has helped to build numerous homes,” Lacher said.

“We are very blessed to have such youthful enthusiasm in our community. They exemplify the Habitat mission of community development,” she said.

The organization has planned a number of fund-raisers this year to get them closer to their goal.

“We’ll have the traditional fund-raisers like a car wash, bake sales and candy sales, but my new vision is to think big,” Holmes said.

Other fund-raisers included Love Shack where students were able to bid on other students and received dinner donated by Sodexho Catering. The Love Shack Auction brought the organization about $800 closer to their goal.

Habitat for Humanity also had a fund-raiser at Cici’s Pizza Wednesday, and they will receive 10 percent of the profit that CiCi’s makes between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

They will have giveaways of gift certificates being donated by restaurants such as Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar and Shoney’s. They also have a sponsorship committee who seeks out possible sponsors for their organization.

They are looking for local businesses and anyone else who would be willing to sponsor them.

“God put us on this earth to help people in need,” said habitat member Lamar Edwards.

“It feels good to know that someone will benefit from what we’re doing,” said Edwards, a sophomore business student from Fort Myers.

Contact Vineta Woodum at