Friday, January 25, 2008

Georgia Greeks Plan Build for Habitat

Greek groups unite, raise funds to build Athens Habitat house
TAMARA BEST

Several Greek councils at the University, along with approximately 5,200 members of the Greek community, joined together to raise money to build a Habitat for Humanity house.

The project's mission was to bring the men and women of the Greek system together to raise enough money to fully fund a Habitat for Humanity house for a family in need, according to a news release.

Together, more than 40 Interfraternity Council fraternities, Panhellenic Council sororities and individuals raised $57,000."It only took about three weeks to a month to raise the money," said Robert Watts, a senior and member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

"Ever since I have been in a fraternity, the response to philanthropic events has been overwhelming," he said. The idea was raised after Patrick Powell, a senior and member of Kappa Alpha Order, listened to a speech about poverty in the community given by the president of the Athens chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

"We wanted to show our commitment to the Athens area," Powell said. "I am personally humbled and thankful for the opportunity to serve."

After thinking of different ways to reach out to the community, Powell and Watts decided Habitat for Humanity was the perfect match."We wanted to do something that would have a lasting effect," Watts said. "A house lasts forever and will do so much for a family. We want to get people in houses and off the streets.

"With the funds raised, Habitat for Humanity is now in the process of interviewing families who applied for the house. Although there is not a definite date set for when construction will begin, Powell said he hopes the house will be built during this semester or in fall 2008."We have enough manpower to build the house quickly," he said.