The University’s Greek community has joined forces with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge for an eight-day blitz to build two houses for two Baton Rouge families by Saturday.
In the eight years of the partnership, the Greek community has reached a milestone of raising more than $1 million for Habitat for Humanity, with more than $165,000 raised this year, according to Sarah Lichterman, Tri-Delta member and president of the Greek Board of Directors.
Habitat for Humanity chooses the two families through a census process based on income, mortgage level and sweat equity, said Caroline Darwin, Tri-Delta member and Greek Week director. Both families are working alongside the Greek community and Habitat for Humanity to help build the house where they will eventually live.
Howley Miles and her daughter Kylie, both of whom moved to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina, and the Nyambaka family, who emigrated from Kenya with their children in August 2011, heard about Habitat for Humanity from former recipients of houses built by their volunteer efforts.
“Kappa Kappa Gamma wanted to do something different for Greek Week,” Darwin said. “They collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to make Greek Week more than a competition between the Greek community. It’s a way to give back to the community as well.”
Lichterman said they have many ways of spreading the word.
“We have fundraising campaigns through letter-writing parties,” Lichterman said. “Every Greek member addresses letters to friends and families who would like to donate money. We also have corporate sponsors.”
According to Lichterman, all 38 chapters of the Greek community are involved. Each chapter has at least one representative at the build sites every day.
“We also wanted to incorporate a friendly competition aspect,” Lichterman said.
There are two teams — purple and gold — divided based on the number of members in each chapter. Each team is awarded a point based on the number of contributions each day. The fraternity or sorority with the greatest contribution will receive an award from Order of Omega.
“It’s amazing to see the impact the LSU Greek community can make with two Baton Rouge families in just one week,” Associate Director of Greek Life Jonathan Sanders said in a news release.
As of now, the Greek community and Habitat for Humanity have reached the midway point of the eight-day blitz that began April 13 and will end Saturday.