Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but I for one was not aware that Boston College’s “Appa” group was actually the Habitat for Humanity chapter. Anyone else surprised by this? Not just me? The group is called “Appa” because BC’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity does service trips in the Appalachian region. The chapter has registered for three “Build” days this semester, the final two sessions in November being open for registration in the coming weeks. Since so many BC students demonstrate interest in participating, the chapter is negotiating more building days with Habitat of Greater Boston so more students can volunteer.
Being a member of the increasingly active club means fundraising, as building costs are expensive. Habitat for Humanity requires $750 in donation money for each building day to pay for materials, so the Appa group has to get creative here on campus to raise that money. Members work concessions during sporting events, and their salaries go toward building costs. There will be an El Pelon Benefit Night on September 18, with ten percent of profits going to the group (So BC students: you can pig out on tacos and feel like you’re doing some good in the world). There will also be a letter campaign and a rake-a-thon for Chestnut Hill residents, both opportunities for members to individually fundraise, as well as a kickball tournament. All events will fund the two building days in November when Appa volunteers will get to work.
Students can volunteer in either habitat groups or community groups. Community groups stay and integrate themselves into the area and provide any community services necessary for the placement, as opposed to the habitat groups, which will build a house on a specific site.
Stephen Loverde, a sophomore member who participated last year, explained, “it’s a great way to meet people and if you’re looking for a meaningful experience, go for it.”
Possibly the best part of the club? No applications. Interested students do not have to devote hours to the club, stress about interviews, or pay exorbitant fees to get involved. Anyone who wants to join the Habitat chapter can, with just a small membership due (ten dollars to cover Habitat dues) and a few meetings to attend before building days. If a student wants to go on a trip, he or she will also need to participate in fundraising. But right now the club is looking forward to a general meeting on October 2 for students who want to join Habitat for Humanity—otherwise known as Appa Club.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons