This past week, Habitat for Humanity at Keene State College participated in Act! Speak! Build! Week.
April 12 to 18, the student organization set up a series of workshops and events where KSC students could help out and raise awareness for their cause.
According to their website, Habitat for Humanity helps build affordable housing for those in need around the world.
The website also says Act! Speak! Build! Week goes beyond the usual activates and it was designed to draw more attention from community members.
This awareness week is happening not only at KSC, but also at colleges, high schools and communities around the world.
According to Habitat.org, “Act! Speak! Build! Week serves to educate others by expanding the scope of Habitat’s mission from raising a hammer and raising funds to include raising your voice.”
Here at KSC, the organization’s activities included making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to donate to the local homeless shelter, building picnic tables, spray painting t-shirts and the showing of a documentary.
Natashia Baker, secretary for Habitat for Humanity, said she thinks this week is a fun, easy way for to get the campus involved in their events.
Sarah Beean, the KSC Habitat for Humanity publicity coordinator, agreed with Baker and said, “We really like to get the campus involved, not just our members, but everybody. Doing something easy where you can come in-between classes is beneficial.”
Beean said most of the events had a really good turn out and she was excited to see the campus getting involved.
For Beean, she said it’s really important to raise awareness about the homeless situation here in Keene.
She explained, “In Keene the issue of people experiencing homelessness is big. We have a very high rate of homelessness, but we don’t have the awareness or the facilities to really help the people the way that we should be able to because people just don’t know that it’s a problem.”
“It’s more of a hidden problem in Keene than it is in bigger cities. So it’s really important to raise awareness,” Beean said.
Baker also agreed that KSC students should be aware of what is happening in Keene.
She has personally gained a lot of knowledge and experience about the issue from the club and wishes to share that with the community.
Another member of the club, Melissa Munoz, said she had a great experience with these events.
She said she is a first-year student so this was her first time participating in Act! Speak! Build! Week.
“I feel like the spray painting on the tee shirts was really cool and a lot of people came and
thought it was really interesting,” she said.
“Some of the people that went to the spray painting went to the next meeting that Habitat for Humanity had. It shows how one event can bring people in,” Munoz added.
She said is looking forward to the events for next year and said the more people who come to the events the more fun it will be for everyone on campus.
According to Munoz, all the events are scattered and cover different topics.
She said thinks the club does a good job of pleasing everyone because the greater range of events the more people they can attract.
One of their events was to make 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Hundred Nights homeless shelter in Keene.
“[Making] peanut butter and jelly [sandwiches] is something that we’ve been doing for the past couple of years and it’s something that we really like doing because it has a direct impact,” Beean explained.
“So students make these sandwiches and then they go directly to Hundred Nights homeless shelter where they’re given out to people to eat,” Beean continued.
“It’s very easy to see the impact that it’s making,” she said.
Act! Speak! Build! Week happens every year, and Beean, Baker and Munoz all agreed they are already looking forward to next year’s event.
They also said they were very pleased with the reactions they received from KSC students.
Tara Levy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org