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Building Momentum: Habitat for Humanity Awareness Day — Nov. 15

November 14, 2006

Source: Mount Allison University

SACKVILLE, NB — "Eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action." A huge task, but one that the students of Habitat for Humanity Mount Allison are committed to as they enter their fifth year in support of this worthy cause.

While this is the fifth year for the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter, this is the first year that the goals of the organization have shifted away from involvement in the Spring Break Collegiate Challenge and more towards a holistic approach to achieving the Habitat mandate. Encapsulating this new approach is this year’s theme ‘Poverty has no borders.’ This year’s Habitat executives Meghan Armstrong, Jeanette Sassine, Mary Beth Bissell, and Jenn Heckman, along with over 60 members, are working hard to raise funds to be used to fund Habitat projects at the local, national, and international levels.

On Wednesday, November 15, you can learn more about Habitat for Humanity’s new activities at Mount Allison. The first annual Habitat Awareness Day will be held here on the Mount A campus between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A booth will be set up outside of the library to provide further information about Habitat as well as a charity BBQ — all proceeds going towards reaching this year’s fund raising targets.

"No longer are we just focusing our attention on the Spring Break challenge," says co-president Mary Beth Bissell. "Our mission has become three-fold: to help those in need of adequate housing — regionally, nationally, and internationally."

The realization of these goals will take many forms — the campus group has decided that they will fund raise to sponsor an international home this year in Uganda. This decision was made after fourth-year students Amelia Fraser and Carolyn Reardon presented testimonials about their time spent in Uganda working on a Habitat Global Village construction project. A single home will be funded before the end of this school year for a cost of about $2,000.

The group is also looking forward to involvement with Habitat Saint John who have just begun a building project in the south end of the city. Habitat Mount A fund raising co-ordinator, Jeanette Sassine, who is from the Saint John area, says, "This would be a great opportunity for our group as it allows us to contribute to a build here in Atlantic Canada. Even though we aren’t often aware of poverty in our part of the world, it does exist."

Involvement in the traditional Spring Break Collegiate Challenge will continue this February when 43 Mount A students will travel by bus to Birmingham, Alabama. Students become construction workers and are instructed on how to perform tasks such as framing walls, laying shingles, installing windows, and even laying sub-floor. "Most students who go on the trip have never done construction work before, so it is really neat when, by the end of the week, they are using power tools and making real progress on the house," says fourth-year student Meghan Armstrong.

Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to partner families at no profit and are financed through affordable loans. Houses are constructed largely through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials. Homeowners must also invest hundreds of hours of their own labour into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. This ensures that the circle of giving continues.


For further information please contact Jenn Heckman (



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