This article is part of a series about the App Builds a Home project, which began with fundraising in fall 2018 and will continue through the building of the home this fall. Appalachian is partnering with Watauga County Habitat for Humanity to build a home from the ground up.
BOONE, N.C. — Months of planning and fundraising will begin to take physical shape in September, when App Builds a Home (ABAH) — Appalachian State University’s initiative with the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity (WCHH) — begins framework construction on a house in Boone’s GreenWood subdivision.
Approximately 100 volunteers from Appalachian will work alongside the Habitat for Humanity Road Trip Crazies — a team of 50 Habitat enthusiasts based in Virginia who travel the country to kick-start home builds — for a two-day “blitz build” weekend Sept. 21–22.
"We applaud the critical impact volunteers are making in our community. The work they have done — and will continue — is truly making a difference, now and for the future," said Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts.
“By the time the blitz weekend is finished, the walls will be up and the roof will be on,” said Misty Mayfield, an instructor in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning and member of the ABAH planning team.
Mayfield said the event will resemble an old-fashioned barn raising, in which many volunteers accomplish a great deal of work in a short period of time. “It usually takes about 100 build days to construct a Habitat house,” she said. “The Crazies bring hype and enthusiasm, plus a wealth of experience, to partner with volunteers in the community and get the project off to a strong start.”
Volunteers for the build weekend in September and ongoing work to complete the home are currently being recruited. ABAH introduced the project to new students during Appalachian’s summer orientation and Welcome Weekend events, and signed up more student volunteers during the university’s 2019 Club Expo.
Students, staff and faculty may also register to volunteer for the project on the ABAH website.
Raising funds to raise the roof
The ABAH team has been hard at work since fall 2018, when fundraising began toward a goal of $60,000 — half of the cost of building a Habitat home in Boone — that will be matched by WCHH.
Half of Appalachian’s goal has been met, with almost $16,000 in cash raised during fundraising activity to date, plus a donation in-kind by Tom Quackenbush of Glenwood Homes in Raleigh, who is providing framework materials valued at about $15,000. Quackenbush is the stepfather of Appalachian alumnus Gaige Cogswell ’18, who is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in student affairs administration at Appalachian.
Several fundraising events for the project are scheduled for fall. The week prior to the blitz build, the ABAH team will collect donations in Appalachian’s Plemmons Student Union, with a “class versus class” competition.
“This is a simple idea to engage the whole campus,” Mayfield said of the competition. “We’ve thought all along if every student gave $5, we’d easily meet our goal. The competition will make it more fun.”
During Appalachian’s Homecoming Week, ABAH is partnering with the university’s Department of Student Engagement and Leadership to host a field day competition for individual students and clubs, fundraising through team sponsorships.
ABAH team member Dorothy Williams, a senior from Tallahassee, Florida, majoring in middle grades education, said, “I think students are excited to participate in this project because it is a very tangible way to give back. They can hold the hammer and the nails. They can meet the family that they are helping to house. It really connects students to the community.”
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.