A cold, rainy autumn morning could not deter thirteen members of the Duke community from kicking off this year’s Duke Habitat for Humanity building project on a recent Saturday.
This Habitat home is being built in partnership with the Hernandez family and is being sponsored and built by the Duke student chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Duke University & the Duke Office of Durham Affairs, Duke Chapel & The Congregation at Duke Chapel and Duke Alumnus Pradeep Baliga, Class of 2006. Despite the rain, the volunteers were able to get a good start on construction efforts and managed to build and raise three of the four walls of the house.
“It is a very inspiring sight to see so many people uniting in the cause of building a home.” Said Alex Lowell, the Fundraising Chair of the Duke student chapter of Habitat for Humanity, “We greatly value being able to work alongside the Hernandez family and getting to know them along the way.”
Over the course of the next 18 – 20 weeks, this once-empty lot will be transformed into a cozy four-bedroom home, ready for Feliciano and Antonia Hernandez and their three children to settle into. The Hernandez family, excited to start working on their own house, have been finishing their required volunteer hours, or “sweat equity”, in record time and Feliciano, a mason by trade, is particularly excited to add extra brick details to the outside columns of his new home once construction is completed.
Each year, the Duke Habitat for Humanity student chapter sponsors and builds one house in the Durham community for a family in need. This year marks the first of a five-year commitment from Duke University and President Price of $50,000, which a Duke Alumnus will then match to reach the full sum of $75,000 required for a Habitat home sponsorship. These funds will cover the cost of construction materials varying from a box of nails, costing $10, to the foundation of the house, which costs approximately $10,000.
“Durham Habitat relies and thrives because of partnerships and together with Duke and Duke Habitat we are building home, hope and community in Durham!” said Roxanne Little, Director of Advancement at Durham Habitat for Humanity. Since being founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Durham has built 390 homes in and around Durham, with a number of new homes currently underway.
Construction efforts continued this past Saturday, November 3, as the Duke Habitat club and members of the Duke Football team came out to the site to volunteer and carry on working on the Hernandez home.
Support organizations like Duke Habitat for Humanity by making a gift to Doing Good in the Neighborhood. Duke employees can make a gift year-round that supports the important work of local nonprofits, schools and neighborhoods.
Story by James Hardman-Cobb