Building Playhouses and Character
Hanover freshmen lend a hand at Habitat for Humanity
Friday, August 30, 2013 11:00 AM
There are four walls, a roof and even a deck but it's certainly not a traditional-sized Habitat for Humanity home. The building is something the whole family can enjoy, though.
Diajon Johnson, a freshman at Hanover College, paints the front of a playhouse at Jefferson County’s Habitat for Humanity during a college volunteer day for freshmen on Wednesday. Nearly 200 students volunteered at locations throughout Jefferson County during the August Experience day. (Staff photo by Renee Bruckfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Local Habitat volunteers are implementing a new program that allow donors to construct playhouses for children as a team-building effort.
On Wednesday, students from Hanover College put the exterior finish on a model playhouse at the Habitat ReStore by painting the building with vibrant orange, blue, pink and green colors.
The 10 incoming freshmen, plus one sophomore peer adviser, were volunteering as part of the college's August Experience - an annual community program held before the first week of classes.
More than 190 Hanover College students signed up for the volunteer event this year. Other activities this week will include a reading marathon at Southwestern Elementary School, painting a room at the local Salvation Army building and area landscaping work.
Lisa Steele, a Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity board member, learned about the playhouse program during a international Habitat seminar.
For the build, donors, business or organizations can contribute $2,500 to Habitat for the playhouse items and materials. Then, Habitat and the donors will choose the recipients and the team will build the structure in one eight-hour day.
The point is to focus projects that can be started and completed in one day, instead of over an extended period of time, Steele said.
At the end of the day, the selected family has the finished product delivered to their home.
"That's the icing on the cake to be able to give these kids the house," Steele said.
The first official playhouse build will occur 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Hanover College. Greek Life representatives from the college are helping plan the build.
Daniel Uebel, construction manager and volunteer coordinator for Habitat, spent all day Monday and Tuesday building the model playhouse. He said he expects the actual buildings to be larger and more functional.
"The next one will have windows and be a little bigger," he said.
As the students worked on the building, Uebel joked that he tried to match the paint with the Habitat blue and green colors. The Hanover College group took a literal hands-on approach as they slapped their hand prints on the building.
The entire cost of the model came in at about $350.
Uebel plans to add shingles to the building and then display it outside the ReStore for passersby to see. He said the project already has gathered a lot of attention from curious residents. He hopes that carries over into the program next month and beyond.
"You wouldn't believe the amount of people that stopped by when I was building it," he said.