A shantytown with heart

Paul Karner

Though we may walk past a field of flags representing the countless deaths brought on by hatred in our world, or applaud a guest speaker who has just informed us of the economic and social aberrations committed by our local grocer, or watch some gripping images of poverty and starvation in between segments of “The Apprentice,” feelings of compassion and conviction are far too often pushed to the wayside by an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Well, this weekend Lawrence students will have a chance to do something real. On Saturday May 15, Lawrence’s Main Hall green will become the site of the third annual Shack-a-thon, an all-day event in support of the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity. Beginning at noon, 22 teams will take on the task of building a shack of their own out of whatever supplies and architectural capabilities they can muster beforehand, with the goal of raising $180 for Habitat for Humanity.

Money is raised by those in attendance, who donate money to vote for their favorite shacks, which means that Shack-a-Thon is not merely for team members but for all Lawrence students, faculty, and staff interested in making a difference.

Zoo Days will be taking place at the same time, providing non-stop live music from noon till midnight. With a picnic dinner provided by food services, and even a chance to make one of those crazy wax hands being advertised all over campus, Shack-a-Thon is an event that should not be missed.

Previous Lawrence Shack-a-Thons have raised between four and five thousand dollars in donations, and all students are urged to come this Saturday for an chance to have fun and make a real difference through the efforts of their fellow Lawrentians and Habitat for Humanity.

An organization which has provided affordable housing for people in need for over 25 years, HFH has since expanded into an international program, with chapters in needy areas all over the world. The Fox Cities chapter, established in 1993, focuses on eliminating poverty housing on a local level, by means of donations and volunteers. Jill Wiles, HFH’s Midwest campus director, will also be speaking on low income housing, as well as the ways in which the money raised will benefit families right here in our own Fox Valley.

If you would like information on how to get involved with Habitat for Humanity you can contact the Volunteer Center or send an email to JodiIsom_HFH@gwicc.org for information on the Fox Cities chapter.