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Kick Off is Today for ODU Habitat for Humanity House Build

Hundreds of Old Dominion University faculty, staff and students will join together with Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads to build a home for a local Norfolk family as part of a campus-wide community service project to celebrate Homecoming 2009. The build begins Nov. 2 with a kick-off event featuring an introduction of the family and a ceremonial wall raising.

The ceremony will be held at noon at the staging location of 47th Street and Killam Avenue on the Old Dominion University campus. By the week's end the Jones family home, designed by architect GM Frech & Associates, will be framed at its permanent location, 1522 W. 39th Street in the Lambert's Point neighborhood.

"This is an opportunity for ODU to show its volunteer spirit and its commitment to the community," said President John R. Broderick. "There is an old saying that 'Many hands make light work,' and, with as many volunteers who have signed up to help, this will be a smooth and fruitful project."

Already, the first week of building has been filled with volunteers from the ODU Student Habitat organization, Army and Navy ROTC students, both student athletes and coaches, students and faculty from the engineering college, and a host of campus offices. Additionally, several weekends have been designated for ODU alumni and there has been considerable community involvement as well.

An anonymous donor has given $35,000 in matching funds for the ODU build. Not only is this generous Habitat donor supporting this particular build, but he gives numerous hours on a weekly basis to "swinging a hammer" on other Habitat builds, and his wife volunteers her time on Habitat's family support committee.

"Sometimes it's easy to just write a check," says Helen Sommer, Habitat's Executive Director, "but this couple has taken ownership and truly is involved in Habitat's mission."

Founded in 1988, Habitat SHR, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation, is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Its mission is to eliminate poverty housing and make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. Habitat provides no-profit, no-interest mortgages to qualified low-income families in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Isle of Wight Counties.

Please contact Habitat SHR at 640.0590, or go to www.shrhabitat.org for more information, to volunteer services, or to make a financial donation.

This article was posted on: November 2, 2009

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