Students from Kansas University assisted in a Lawrence Habitat for Humanity project Saturday and at the same time raised money for national and local organizations.
Twelve students worked on the Habitat house at 820 Ind., owned by Lucinda and Bobby Helms, as part of Hunger Week activities. The students solicited pledges for the amount of time they worked, said Thad Holcomb, director of Ecumenical Christian Ministries. Half of the money they raised will go to the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen, and the other half will go to the Students National Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.
ECM sponsored the activity along with Students Against Hunger, Holcomb said, and student volunteers gave the project an international flair. Ten of the 12 students were from India, including a vice president of KU Students Against Hunger, Kishor Allada.
Allada said university students throughout the country were performing similar tasks on Saturday as part of the campaign's national work day.
THE STUDENTS arrived at noon and for three hours of work. Before setting about their individual tasks, Holcomb gave the students a brief history of the house and of Habitat, an organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for everyone.
"You're not going to solve homelessness today, but you are going to participate," he said. Plus, he said, volunteers gained practical carpentry experience through the work.
Although rain halted outside painting and masonry work, volunteers found plenty to do inside. They ripped up linoleum in an upstairs bedroom to expose a wood floor, helped place drywall and cleaned the house.
BROTHER BENIGNUS Scarry, a Habitat member who supervised the workers, said that the house was near completion, and that Habitat had planned to dedicate the house on May 17.
"It's now down to getting everything to fall into place," he said.
Bachal Bhambhani, a graduate student, and Dominie Writt, Lawrence sophomore, were two of the student volunteers. Both said they had wanted to get involved in a community project. For Writt, the work came naturally.
"My dad builds houses, and I used to help him," she said. "I've been doing this kind of work all of my life."