BW “Building Walls” Service Event a Success


Katherine Bennie

Student volunteers pose in front of the constructed frames at the Building Walls Event

Jo Kinkade, Contributing Writer

Habitat for Humanity hosted their second annual “Building Walls” event on Saturday, April 26. Baldwin Wallace University students, faculty, and alumni volunteered and worked together to construct the walls of one house and seven sheds for families in need.
Habitat for Humanity is a national volunteer organization that focuses efforts on building homes for impoverished families.
The BW chapter volunteers mainly within the Cuyahoga County region, but they  also  go out of state during their spring service trip.
The BW chapter of Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement states that the group is “a team of students committed to building the future by empowering ourselves and others to eradicate poverty housing through education and active involvement in the Cleveland area and abroad.”
While the “Building Walls” event consisted of about eighty volunteers last year, it drew roughly 130 for this year’s event.
“A lot of the things that we [Habitat for Humanity] do throughout the year is off-campus and lot of people don’t have time to commute there. This event is a great way to bring our mission to BW and show everyone what we do, while also getting people involved who normally wouldn’t be,” Executive Board member, Katherine Bennie, said.
Bennie has taken part in Habitat for Humanity since high school, but joined the Executive Board her sophomore year of college.
“I’m really passionate about the organization. Along with the other members of the board, we really strive to grow. We’ve gone from zero members to about 100 consistent members now doing the spring break trips, winter trips, and now ‘Building Walls,’” Bennie said.
Habitat for Humanity has also increased the amount of volunteer work they do in the past year.
“Last year, we completed one house; this year we’re completing one house and seven sheds.” Bennie said.
The house will be donated to Medina Habitat for Humanity, and the sheds will be donated to Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.
Cleveland only does rehab, meaning they take existing homes and refurbish them, so they only ask for sheds.
“It’s a way to give back to the affiliates we work with most,” Bennie added. “This is our second year we’ve done the program and we hope to continue it in future years.”
While Habitat for Humanity holds events during spring and winter breaks, there are also a variety of volunteer days throughout the year.
“Even if it’s a little outside of your comfort zone, you don’t need experience, just sign up for any event like this on campus. It’s a great way to spend a few hours off campus and it really changes your perspective,” Bennie said.
The group has volunteer days twice a month when they go to Cleveland and meet with the families.
“Working with them is amazing because they’re so thankful and excited,” Bennie said.
Others who played an integral part in making the “Building Walls” Event successful were club President Heather Schier and faculty advisors Joe Lehman and Andy Dohanos.