This article is part of a series about the App Builds a Home project, in which Appalachian is partnering with Watauga County Habitat for Humanity to build a home from the ground up. The project, which began with fundraising in fall 2018, will continue through the completion of the home this spring.
BOONE, N.C. — Volunteers from Appalachian State University are putting final touches on the home being built in partnership with Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, and plans for future projects by App Builds a Home (ABAH) are being discussed.
The fundraising goal of $60,000, to be matched by Watauga Habitat, has been exceeded, with $95,000 raised to date. The dedication of the home is set for Saturday, April 25.
Currently, workdays are scheduled each weekend to paint the interior, install flooring and cabinets, and landscape the exterior of the home.
While some of the weekly workers are repeat volunteers, many are volunteering for the first time, said Misty Mayfield ’02, an instructor in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning and the ABAH team’s faculty adviser.
“Seeing people from across the university join together to build a house for a local family is a constant highlight. Recognizing a community need and coming together to respond to that need is an act of hope and commitment,” she said.
Kayla McDougle, a junior interior design major from Greensboro who is president of Appalachian’s Habitat for Humanity Club and a member of the ABAH planning team, said, “As this project has developed, it has been incredibly meaningful to see the response across campus and hear what it means to individuals.”
Some of the project highlights thus far:
- Appalachian’s Integrative Design Experience Laboratory (IDEXlab) designed plans for the home.
- A donation of framing materials from Tom Quackenbush, of Raleigh, provided an early boost to fundraising efforts.
- Watauga Habitat selected the future homeowners — David Barker and Amy Barker and their two children — who work alongside volunteers to build the home and then assume an affordable mortgage.
- More than 200 volunteers took the home from foundation to under roof during the blitz build weekend in September 2019.
- Local residents Curt Gillespie and Linda Gillespie, of Blowing Rock, were inspired by the enthusiasm of Appalachian students and contributed $20,000 to match donations in late 2019.
An interest meeting was held Jan. 23 to discuss future projects for ABAH. Approximately 30 people attended, representing student organizations, academic departments and offices across campus.
Attendees and interested parties have been asked to indicate by mid-February their intent to join the ABAH Advisory Committee and serve on one of the following subcommittees:
- Outreach — connecting ABAH with individuals, clubs, organizations and offices across campus.
- Marketing — managing social media, the ABAH website, posters and displays.
- Volunteer Recruitment — organizing volunteers for events and build days.
- Fundraising/Events — generating ideas and coordinating with university partners for fundraising events.
“We need to gauge interest to decide if App Builds a Home will continue for a second build,” Mayfield said. “Until then, we’ll finish and celebrate the house built for the Barker family.”
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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.