Habitat for Humanity Having Fun, Creating Awareness
Student Life - posted on 4/21/2006By Jodie LiedkeStudent Assistant to the Communications Director
Jackie Flesch manages the business office at Lakeland College, but is best known to Lakeland students for the warm, welcoming personality they find when they stop by her office to pay their tuition bills, put money on their ID card for laundry or just drop by to say 'hi' and eat the M&Ms in her seemingly-bottomless candy dish.
Flesch was among the Lakeland faculty and staff showing that caring side when they joined Lakeland students in the college's annual on-campus Shantytown, an event coordinated by Lakeland's Habitat for Humanity chapter to raise awareness of homelessness.
"I felt this was one event that I personally could help with," Flesch said. "I also felt it would be very fun!"
Lakeland's Habitat group is part of an international organization active in fundraising and building efforts to assist in the reduction of poverty around the world by focusing on local areas.
Lisa Hentges, president of Lakeland's Habitat chapter, said faculty and staff members started early in the evening, working alongside students to create a small community of houses out of cardboard and duct tape in the area just east of the Younger Family Campus Center. Markers were used to personalize the boxes for the people sleeping in them overnight.
"Shantytown raises habitat awareness and reminds people of the poverty that others are in," said Hentges.
The group was blessed with good weather, and participants stayed in shantytown from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. eating S'mores and talking. The message was serious, but there was some good-natured mischief to go with it. Flesch admits to helping Saran Wrap another staff member's shanty, duct tapping another person's door shut and creating the illusion of rain by pouring peanuts on a faculty member's shanty.
"We had a great time! And people realized how the homeless really live even though we were able to have a blanket and pillow," said Flesch. "The homeless don't have that luxury."
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