The campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity continues their builds for the community by helping construct a home on Oct. 3 for Wanneshia Baker, a mother of three in need of stability.
Out of 28 other school chapters that applied, FAMU is the only chapter chosen to co-sponsor the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The chapter earned its sponsorship by raising $2,000 in fundraising. State Farm Insurance, the sponsors of the home, matched the price allowing the chapter to have $4,000 to support the building.
The chapter committee encourages students to get involved in making a difference in lives of those in need.
“The build is a good way to get people to notice [FAMU] for its work,” said Danielle Sackie-Mensah, 21, a fourth-year architecture student and build chairperson from West Palm Beach. “The school is recognizing us as a chapter, and as far as the build, hopefully we will get more participation.”
Baker’s future home is solar-powered and furnished by donations. The only financial responsibility she will have is paying the mortgage payments. However, because her home sits on a hill, the building is not quite finished.
“This is our second co-sponsored build,” said LaTonya Henry, 20, a third-year mathematics student from Fort Lauderdale.
“The main goal for the chapter is to completely sponsor their own building,” said Henry, vice president of Habitat. “Most of the families that move into the Habitat homes are African American. Our goal as an HBCU is to support our people by having our own [sponsored] building.”
Because her mom lived in a habitat home, Henry has a strong motivation to help people.
“People fail to realize that making a difference is impossible without support,” Henry said.
Habitat for Humanity at FAMU is one of the most active HBCU chapters in the country. The chapter holds education seminars, fundraising carwashes and works closely with other chapters in the Tallahassee community.
“Our goal for this build is to make the building livable for the family moving in,” said Cherita Brownlee, 21, a fourth-year business administration student from Miami and president of Habitat.
All committee members encourage the school to get more involved with the campus chapter and to keep an eye out for upcoming events. The active chapter does a lot for the community, but does not have the student participation they wish for.
“We have a lack of support,” said Henry. “Committed members are key. A lot of people say they will help come out and support, but do not.”
Henry said the university is not making an effort to help sponsor the chapter.
The chapter was discovered at FAMU in 2007. According to the mission statement, Habitat for Humanity‘s purpose is to develop communities for people in need by building and renovating houses.
“Our chapter goal is to have our name on our own building,” Brownlee said.
To learn more about becoming involved with the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity, visit famuhabitat.org or contact the president, Cherita Brownlee at firstname.lastname@example.org.