WSU Student-Athletes and Athletics Staff Participate in Habitat for Humanity
July 11, 2011
UNIONTOWN, Wash. - Over 40 representatives of Washington State University Athletics helped with the construction of a house just south of Uniontown, Saturday, July 9, as part of a project for Palouse Habitat for Humanity.
"It was a great opportunity to get out and help someone in our community," WSU Head Volleyball Coach Jen Greeny said. "It was a fabulous experience for our staff and players to be able to contribute and I'm very proud of what we accomplished."
The group of participants, including 27 student-athletes from the Cougar men's basketball, football and volleyball teams, worked in two four-hour shifts, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. Numerous tasks were accomplished during both sessions, including, but not limited to, the installation of windows and a sliding glass door, the covering of the outside of the house with house wrap, and construction of the roof. The student-athletes worked alongside the woman who the house is being built for, Sarah Keller, who will live in the home with her two sons.
"It's good for us to get out in the community," men's basketball student-athlete Marcus Capers said. "People really appreciate stuff like this, us taking from the little free time we have, to go out and help. Anytime we're given the opportunity to do something like this, I'm willing to help out and so are my teammates. It was a good experience."
The WSU Athletics group was organized by Kari Sampson, coordinator of career development and community service, and included volleyball student-athletes Chelsey Bettinson, Meagan Ganzer, Marcelina Glab, Zoe Gogan, Stephanie Hagins, Jaicee Harris, Jordan Levenseller, Stephanie Logan, Anuhea Keanini, Megan McManus, Morgan Murrey, Krystal Robinson, Maile Scarpino and Rachel Todorovich, football student-athletes Zach Brevick, Ererico Forbes, Steve Hoffart, C.J. Laufasa, Mike Ledgerwood and Marshall Lobbestael, and men's basketball's Faisal Aden, Marcus Capers, Chuks Iroegbu, DaVonté Lacy, Mike Ladd, D.J. Shelton and Royce Woolridge.
"On behalf of WSU Athletics' staff and student-athlete participants, I would like to thank Palouse Habitat for Humanity for allowing us the opportunity to take part in such a meaningful project," Sampson said. "Assisting in the building of Sarah Keller's home was such a gift to all of those who participated. Although our construction skills varied across the board, we were in unison with our purpose; providing willing and able bodies to produce a little hard work for a larger and greater cause. We can't wait to see the final product."
Brent Bradberry, president of the board for the Palouse Habitat for Humanity, described one of his highlights, having Cougar football players lift an 18-foot beam in place by hand.
"Normally that would be done by a powerlift, which we don't have here," Bradberry said. "So instead we had a Cougar football-power lift. It worked great."
Palouse Habitat for Humanity's mission is `To serve our neighbors in need by helping to eliminate poverty housing on the Palouse and worldwide.' The families who are chosen for a Habitat home must show a need for adequate housing, must be able to pay a modest mortgage payment and be willing to put in 500 hours of `sweat equity,' working with Habitat to build their house. Habitat offers families a 0% interest mortgage and when monthly payments are made, that money rolls into materials for the next Habitat home. The use of volunteers helps to build a sense of community while working alongside the family members on all stages of construction and helps keep the costs down.
"This is a terrific way to get a lot done," Bradberry said. "We've had an excellent relationship with WSU for quite a while now. We've worked through the CCE (Center for Civic Engagement) and having the athletic department also coordinate volunteers is a terrific idea. We're all for it."
The Habitat group typically works two days a week, with large Saturday crews and smaller Thursday crews comprised mostly of retirees. Saturdays are the days most of the work gets done.
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