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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

USI Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter receives MVP award

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The USI Habitat chapter in Martin County, Florida, 2011.

Front row: Mary Hjelter, Bridgett Niehaus, Reis Smith, Brandon Fathauer, Karla Knust, Chris Hoehn, Whitney Brown Back Row: Ambrosia Maddox, Chelsey Mullins, Katie Griffin
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The University of Southern Indiana Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter was selected as the Collegiate Challenge Student Group "Most Valuable Player" for 2011. The USI chapter was nominated by Habitat for Humanity of Martin County, Florida.

"This group is an absolute joy to work with from initial contact in organizing to the day of their arrival," the nominators said. "They always show great respect and leadership and definitely give me hope in our country for the future."

The Collegiate Challenge is a national spring break alternative work program offered through Habitat for Humanity. The USI chapter has volunteered in several communities including El Paso, Texas Alexandria, Louisiana Bunnell, Florida Hershey, Pennsylvania and Martin County, Florida in addition to volunteering after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This was the third year the team returned to Martin County where they worked on roofing and hanging dry wall for three Habitat homes.

The Collegiate Challenge committee was impressed that the USI chapter has returned to the same affiliate three years running and that the students have gone above and beyond in service to the Martin County community by volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club.

"We would begin each morning on the work site at 8 a.m. and work until 1 p.m. On three of the afternoons we volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club with students in their after school program," said Chris Hoehn, USI Habitat for Humanity advisor. "The USI students engage with folks in the community and are genuinely interested in learning about the need for affordable housing and the opportunities that are available in volunteer work and service. People in Martin County speak very highly of our students' drive, enthusiasm, and willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. The work ethic of our students and our leaders helps to provide a good experience for volunteers."

In addition to participating in the Collegiate Challenge, the USI Habitat chapter volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Evansville, building Saturdays throughout the semester and fundraises during the school year with rummage sales, car washes, and the Home Run 5K held at USI.

To learn more about USI's Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, contact Katie Smitley, USI Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter president, at klsmitley@mail.usi.edu.



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