By Mariah Powell, UNC Charlotte student
UNC Charlotte student Elizabeth Soto stood still as the sound of chatter filled the square in front of the Student Union. She steadied herself, took a deep breath and released it into a musical note. Her strong voice resonated in the square as she belted out a freestyle song about donating to Habitat for Humanity. Soto and her fellow Psychology Learning Community students came together on a hot, muggy Friday afternoon to fund raise for the UNC Charlotte Habitat for Humanity house.
The learning community students were participating in an event that was part of the university-wide effort to raise $49,000 and build a house for a Habitat family. As of late September, the campus-wide fund drive was closing in on $60,000. The build will take place on campus from Oct. 1-11, with the psychology students participating in the build on Oct. 11 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. They took part in a recent Mine for 49 fundraising competition and took second place for their efforts.
Learning community coordinator Kim Buch, a professor in psychology, saw great potential in the students participating in the build. “I hope they get excited about helping others and about getting involved in the community, not just the campus community but the broader [Charlotte] community,” Buch said.
For the students, the build gives a chance to contribute to others. “Generally, we all like to help people,” student Elisabeth Soto said. “Many people come from rough spots in their lives and it’s always good just to give back.”
Prior to the day’s events the PLC students chose between helping with UNC Charlotte’s Habitat for Humanity build or completing a mission in Ecuador.
“I may not see the children I am helping,” Sammons said. “But with this build I know what exactly is happening, and I get to actually participate and be hands on with it.”
Marisa Abate expressed similar thoughts. “It’s a really humbling experience, seeing the home owners and helping them out,” she said. “I like helping the local community.”
Fellow student William Hodes added, “I think everyone will be a little nervous at first but I think when we start talking to them it will be a little easier.”
The students came up with their own fundraising ideas. “We sat around as a group for a few class periods trying to figure out what’s going to be the easiest for us to produce but still be able to make money off of it fund raising wise,” student Morgan Burns said.
The students will be fundraising through September into homecoming week this October. For more information or to donate to UNC Charlotte’s Habitat for Humanity house, visit www.uncchabitat.org. Learn more about the Psychology Learning Community on its website.