University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Habitat Chapter Earns Recognition

Habitat Chapter Earns Recognition

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Cardboard City     The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter has been selected to receive a $5,000 matching grant from State Farm® for its outstanding work in building safe, decent and affordable homes.   The chapter is one of only 30 in the United States to receive the award.

     The group will be presented with their award at a ceremony to be held at 1 p.m., Friday, April 16 in the lobby of Blackington Hall.   Chrissie Gump, agency field executive, and Chris Flemming, agency field consultant, from the Greensburg Agency Field Office will be on hand, as well as local State Farm agents.  Among the dignitaries scheduled to attend are State Representative Bryan Barbin, State Senator John Wozniak.

     A campus chapter is a student-led, student-initiated organization on a high school or college campus that partners with the local Habitat affiliate to build, fundraise, advocate and educate to support the work of Habitat for Humanity. Pitt-Johnstown Campus Chapter partners with Cambria County Habitat for Humanity and has helped build more than four houses since 2008. 

     The Pitt-Johnstown Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, one of the most active chapters in the United States, has been educating, advocating, building and fund raising since 2008.  The Pitt-Johnstown chapter is partnered with the local affiliate, Cambria County Habitat for Humanity, to make a difference in the Johnstown community.  In addition to being involved in the construction of four homes, members of the Pitt-Johnstown chapter, twice last year, constructed a "Cardboard City" on the campus mall.  Members slept in the cardboard structure during freezing temperatures to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and substandard housing.  Additionally, they constructed two play houses for children of Habitat families, and regularly conduct informational sessions for the campus community. Just last month, 87 Pitt-Johnstown students and staff spent their Spring Break helping to construct five homes throughout the southern United States.  Additional information on the group's activities can be found online at: www.pitt.edu/~upjhfhcc.

     John Hostetler, former Pitt-Johnstown Campus Chapter Co-President, said, “I feel very fortunate that I have been a part of so many local home builds for families who are in need of decent, affordable housing.”

     Pitt-Johnstown Campus Chapter is one of 30 campus chapters to be awarded a matching grant from State Farm, the national corporate sponsor of Habitat for Humanity’s youth programs. To qualify for the State Farm grant, Pitt-Johnstown Campus Chapter must raise a matching amount. The grant will be used to build houses in the community.    The group plans to conduct a letter writing campaign and sponsor a spaghetti dinner to help raise matching funds.  Last year, the members of the group competed against players from the Pittsburgh Steelers in charity basketball game that raised funds for Habitat.  The money awarded by State Farm, along with the matching funds raised by the Pitt-Johnstown Habitat chapter, will be used to support Habitat's building projects in Cambria County.

     “We are grateful to have been selected as one of the matching grant recipients,” said chapter former Campus Chapter Co-President Brandon Quinn. “The grant will help us to continue to make a difference in the lives of people in need of affordable housing.”

     The Campus Chapters program is one of the many programs Habitat has to engage youth ages 5 to 25 in Habitat’s work. Since 2007, State Farm has served as the national corporate sponsor of Habitat for Humanity’s youth programs, with a sponsorship commitment of more than $1.1 million in grants each year. Additionally, State Farm offices contribute more than $500,000 annually to Habitat affiliates across the United States.

     Through volunteer labor, management expertise, and donations of money and materials, HHCC builds and rehabilitates homes.  The homes are then sold at no profit with no-interest mortgages to partner families.  The payments on these mortgages help fund more Habitat homes.

    Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.

    Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.  Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”  Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Pictured above: Members of the Pitt-Johnstown Habitat for Humanity Chapter construct Cardboard City in an effort to promote awareness of homelessness and sub-standard housing.  Members of the group slept in the structure each night during Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service Week.

Posted by Knipple, Robert on 4/13/2010 9:15:00 AM