BOONE, N.C. — The foundation and fundraising are underway for Appalachian State University’s second App Builds a Home (ABAH) project — a campuswide initiative in partnership with Watauga County Habitat for Humanity to build homes for local families.
The first ABAH home was completed in May, with fundraising already underway for the second home — to be built for the family of Sheila Potter, an App State staff member in the university’s Facility Operations.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Potter home was held Oct. 1. Because of the pandemic, ABAH has suspended volunteer activity on-site, and the foundation and framing work will be completed by paid contractors.
Depending on the state of the pandemic, ABAH plans to partner with App State Staff Senate to recruit volunteers for a “sprint to the finish” build competition in spring 2021.
Mackenzie Millett, one of two student co-directors for the ABAH team, said she is excited about the opportunity to build the home for one of App State’s own.
“Service work and connecting with people have always been a big part of my life and being able to bring those two things together in such an impactful way has been life-changing,” said Millett, an Honors College junior from Amelia Island, Florida, who is majoring in exercise science with a minor in general business.
“We all know the importance of home. Things may be a little harder to accomplish now, during the pandemic, but what we are doing — building safe and affordable homes — is more important than ever,” Millett said.
Millett will speak about ABAH during Watauga Habitat’s virtual “Blueprints and Bow Ties” event Dec. 1, which will include an auction featuring items donated by the Appalachian Community that will contribute toward the fundraising goal.
Other fundraising activities for the Potter home include the following:
- A fundraising campaign by App State’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, held as part of Watauga Habitat’s annual Big Kahuna event, which took place virtually in June. The team completed its fundraising prior to spring break, raising almost $5,000.
- A “Give Thanks, Give Back” letter writing campaign held this month by App State’s Honors College and several student groups, including the Student Orientation Undergraduate Leader (SOUL) Program; Appalachian Wesley Foundation and Presbyterian Episcopal Campus Ministry, part of Campus Ministries; and Kappa Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities.
- A virtual benefit concert presented by the App State Glee Club and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity that was livestreamed Nov. 19.
- A donation match campaign through Dec. 31, in which a Watauga Habitat donor will match contributions to ABAH up to a maximum of $5,000.
To date, almost $17,000 has been raised toward the total ABAH goal of $40,000 for the second home project. Watauga Habitat will cover the remaining cost of the home.
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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 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.