Habitat for Humanity helps local homes

Rachel Healy, Contributing Writer

The University’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity spent the better part of last year aiding in the construction of a new home for the Erb family. The home, located in Selinsgrove, took 2,100 man-hours and $85,000 to complete. On Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. the dedication ceremony took place, at which the family and all of the volunteers celebrated the completion of the home.

The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to provide better housing for local residents, while allowing the surrounding community to come together and volunteer for a great project. The Snyder-Union-Northumberland Habitat for Humanity, of which the Bucknell Chapter is a part, chooses those to help based on their living conditions and need.

The Erb family, a married couple who have two young children, were the residents chosen by the Snyder-Union-Northumberland County Habitat for Humanity Board.

“The housing that they lived in was in poor condition. Mr. Erb had to have heart valve surgery in November, so he was in the hospital for a little while, but he’s recovering,” volunteer coordinator for the chapter Pearl Gemberling said, referring to the family.

The University’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity works closely with the tri-county chapter.

“We started working on the house last year during the spring. Our involvement has been mostly monetary and physical labor. We fundraise every semester to raise around $10,000 by the end of the year. We also have volunteers helping at the construction site every weekend,” club president Zephaniarh Jacob ’16 said.

The process of building a house for local residents resonated greatly with club members.

“From mound of dirt to full standing house, it was very fulfilling to see it all come together every weekend, little by little,” Thuyvan Luu ’15 said.

“It was really nice seeing the family officially receiving their home. It’s a really great cause and it feels really great to be able to help them,” Ellie Tupper ’16 said, referring to the dedication ceremony.

Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to work with; they provide many opportunities for local students and residents alike to get out and help those in their community improve their living situations.

“Life is a challenge. If you get bored, there’s always a Habitat house to build,” Gemberling  said.

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