Habitat for Humanity International Rallies Youth To Service During “Youth United”
AMERICUS, Ga., April 4, 2003–Youth are lending a hand and helping Habitat for Humanity International carry out its mission to provide simple, decent housing for people in need during “Youth United” celebrations, April 5-12. The program provides an opportunity for young people, ages five to 25, to help make homeownership a reality for a deserving family. Youth United is part of Habitat for Humanity International’s Campus Chapter and Youth Programs department, which is marking its 15th anniversary.
Volunteers participating in Youth United raise money to pay for a Habitat house and help with its construction. Younger children raise money through various activities, such as building mailboxes and birdhouses, while older participants in the program landscape yards and raise walls on houses.
Youth United celebrations will occur in Connecticut, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
One of the first homeowners in the program is Geneva Hicks, who has spent most of her career working as a teacher’s assistant at Clemson Elementary School in South Carolina. When Geneva first took the job 17 years ago, she didn’t know that the first graders in her classroom would one day raise money and help her build a Habitat house.
Miss Hicks’ former first graders, many now students at Daniel High School, are working together to raise money and build the Habitat house. More than 200 students have put on bake sales and other fund-raisers to raise the money. So far Miss Hicks’ former students have raised $12,000 of the $20,000 needed.
The experience has been rewarding for the high school students working on the house, who have fond memories of Miss Hicks as one of the important people in their lives during their first-grade experience. The high school students reminisce about their early school years with classmates and other Clemson Elementary School teachers who volunteer at the site alongside the students.
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.