’Berg takes Habitat partnership to next level

When something gets in your blood, sometimes it just sticks. In the fall semester, junior Chase Morrison had the opportunity to serve as the student organizer for Heidelberg’s first-ever Blitz Build. For the Blitz Build -- the Third-Year Common Experience for the HYPE Career Ready® Program – ‘Berg juniors students came together to build the frames for two Habitat for Humanity homes.

After the Blitz Build, Chase wanted to maintain his involvement with Habitat for Humanity, so he organized volunteers and spent 30-40 hours on site, helping with one of the homes being constructed in Tiffin.

“I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy it,” says Chase, who’s in Bryan, Texas, this week as part of Heidelberg’s Alternative Spring Break program to volunteer with the Habitat chapter there, along with about nine other students and a staff member.

When he returns, he’ll have some more organizing to do. Working with Paul Stark, director of Religious Life and Civic Engagement, Chase learned very recently that Heidelberg’s application to form a chartered student chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been approved.

The Blitz Build laid the foundation for the Heidelberg chapter, creating an organized partnership. “The affiliation makes the Seneca County Habitat for Humanity and Heidelberg closer,” Chase says. “Over time, if it continues to grow, Habitat will build a strong relationship with the students who volunteer regularly.”

Volunteering through the Blitz Build on new home construction was the first step in forming a chapter and it is the first of four requirements that student chapters fulfill.

Habitat for Humanity is one of the largest homebuilders in the world. It’s based on Christian values of loaning money without interest, sweat equity, and neighbors loving neighbors by helping out. Its goal is that every person have a home. “As Heidelberg seeks to graduate students who are global citizens who think critically and serve thoughtfully, this relationship with Habitat for Humanity fits our mission,” Paul said.

After spring break, Chase hopes to rally students interested in joining him as members of the student chapter. Part of the early work will be establishing a constitution and continuing to volunteer. The chapter will develop and conduct fundraising, advocacy and education functions as well.

“Anyone who wants to join in and volunteer, just get in touch with me,” he says.

With the partnership with the local Habitat for Humanity already established, ‘Berg organizers including Chase are already looking ahead to next August for the second Blitz Build. About 30-40 students will be needed to be site leaders.

The Blitz Build is a team effort to be sure, and with Chase’s leadership and commitment to Habitat, year two is sure to be another success.

“I am so thankful for Chase Morrison, the students, athletic teams and Greek organizations that have pitched in to make a difference,” Paul said. “And, the HYPE Career Ready® Third-Year Common Experience includes every third-year student in building two houses. We are excited to fund and build two more house frames in August 2019. The community is invited to come and watch.”


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