Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BW Student Advocates for Habitat for Humanity in D.C.

Brittany Smith '16 says supporting Habitat for Humanity before Congress in Washington D.C. first sounded like an "intimidating" task. However, when she did just that at the recent Habitat on the Hill conference sponsored by the non-profit organization, Smith says, "I just spoke from the heart [and] shared why I am so passionate about Habitat’s mission, which allowed me to advocate effectively and get our message across."

As the President of BW's Habitat for Humanity chapter, Smith represented BW at the conference after winning a scholarship to attend. The pre-physical therapy and exercise science major from Buffalo, New York says, "There are currently three pieces of legislation which are up for a budget vote this year in Congress, so the first two days of the conference focused on educating all of the conference participants on how the passage of these bills will greatly benefit Habitat for Humanity."

Smith also learned about public health issues that relate to housing... issues she did not even consider before attending the conference. Such as, how it is easier for people to access a cell phone than a working toilet. Smith says, "This really struck me to think of all the people out there who do not have clean water and a toilet in their homes, because it is something that I have always taken for granted."

Smith says she would love to attend the conference next year, "because it was extremely beneficial to me, and I hope to bring more BW representatives with me."

Back here in Berea, the campus Habitat Chapter will lead the BW community in the annual "Building Walls" event on March 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bonds Parking Lot. In a single day, volunteers will construct the entire frame for a Habitat house that is then trucked to a Northeast Ohio homesite to be completed for a deserving family.