Chicago Community Colleges Partner with Habitat for Humanity Starkville

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Hospitality is something we’re known for in the south, but this week the north showed Starkville a little bit of how they help those in need.

Two Chicago-based community college partnered with Habitat for Humanity Starkville to help area families.

This partnership has been going on since 2012, and since it’s been longer than most college terms, these are new students almost every year.

It’s the sense of accomplishment and how this group is treated that keeps Oakton College and Rockford University coming back.

“We not only love the Habitat for Humanity aspect, but we love coming to Starkville and we loved the community that we felt, the love that we felt, and we definitely saw that we were able to make an impact somewhere,” said Volunteer Coordinator for AmeriCorpse Vista Starkville, Andrew Duback.

It wasn’t a gradual impact.

With help from local volunteers and supervisors, this group of students puts up a house pretty quickly.

“It’s a whole bunch of fun,” said Volunteer Hannah Guter.

Hannah Guter is an Oakton student making her second habitat trip to Starkville.

She says she enjoys the opportunity of taking a hands-on approach to making a difference.

“Like, a lot of people say they want to change the world or do something really good here, but when you’re actually doing it it just feels so good to physically use your hands and do something about it instead of just saying it,” said Guter.

When Duback came to Starkville for the first time in 2014, it had a significant impact on his life.

In his final year at Oakton, he made the decision to come back as a full-time employee.

“They had positions that would go to different nonprofits in Starkville, and there’s one that would go to Habitat for Humanity Starkville,” said Duback. “So I was intrigued by that and jumped on it.”

Now, no longer attending Oakton, Duback says it’s good to still see this partnership going strong.

“It empowers me,” said Duback. “It makes me feel like I did the right thing coming down here, and the kids are able to have the opportunity to do things like I did.”

“You guys have been so warm and so welcoming, and it’s just kind of like the southern hospitality is turned up to the max,” said Guter.

The house itself is going to the Lucious family, a single mother with 2 children.

The move-in date is not set in stone but will be in the late spring.

To volunteer for events, fundraisers, and programs in the Starkville/Oktibbeha County area, visit the Maroon Volunteer Center at their website.

Categories: Local News

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