By Annie Kinniburgh
As part of national Act! Speak! Build! Week, the UMW chapter of Habitat for Humanity and Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) teamed up to raise awareness about the problem of homelessness.
COAR, the largest volunteer and service organization on campus, has worked with Habitat for Humanity for the past four years on Act! Speak! Build! Week, which features opportunities for students to build houses with the Habitat for Humanity club as well as films and discussions that address the topic of homelessness.
Junior Lindsay D’Adamo, president of the UMW chapter of Habitat for Humanity and a staff member of COAR, said that the week is an opportunity to encourage advocacy on an issue that is normally ignored.
“The point of the event and the point of Habitat for Humanity is to promote awareness about how students can get involved and help provide affordable housing for those who need it,” D’Adamo said.
This year the week featured a new event: the cardboard village. Cardboard boxes were set up in front of Lee Hall, and volunteers sat in them during the day on April 2 to illustrate the conditions that homeless men and women endure every day.
“People look at homelessness and think of it as just another thing in the world that they can’t do anything about,” said Norah Almahdali. “But that can change if you spread awareness.”
Act! Speak! Build! Week will conclude April 4 with a barbeque featuring free food and a contest where students will have the opportunity to throw pies at professors and student leaders.