Shack-a-Thon Nails Down Poverty, Housing Issues
Building shacks to symbolize poverty and to raise awareness of the issue, dozens of Texas A&M University students got out their hammers and nails and participated in the annual Shack-a-Thon event at Rudder Fountain this week.
Various student organizations annually build the shacks as a fundraiser with all profits going to the Aggie Habitat house sponsorship. Most of the materials used to construct the shacks are donated.
The annual Shack-a-Thon promotes a sense of community among the many student organizations that contribute to the project.
Students spend many hours constructing the shacks, then sleep inside them for the entire week of Shack-a-Thon. Other student organizations, such as the Aggie Wranglers, dance teams and musical groups, drop by and provide entertainment for the participants.
Aggie Habitat for Humanity is the local campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. It works closely with the Bryan/College Station Habitat Chapter and tries to provide housing for local residents. Aggie Habitat offers families who live in substandard housing the opportunity to own a home. After a family is selected, they must put in at least 500 hours of sweat-equity into building their own home and other Habitat homes. The families are sold a simple, affordable house for the cost of the materials on a 30-year no-interest loan. The houses are built using volunteer labor.
“This raises money for homes, and there is a real need for them in this area,” says Sierra Travis of Montgomery.
“Many people in the Bryan/College Station area need a home, so this project helps in that regard.
“This is the 14th year of Shack-a-Thon,” adds Ali Phillips of Plano, one of the organizers of this year’s event.
“Since it began, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 9.8 million people with housing.”
This year, Aggie Habitat will try to raise $55,000 through grants, dues, and two major events.