Shack-a-thon: Raising Money and Awareness for Housing Issues

Nearly 20 teams of students representing the gamut of campus organizations will transform the Lawrence University Main Hall Green into a temporary shantytown May 14-15 for the college’s fourth annual “Shack-a-thon.”

The fund-raising activity, which supports Habitat for Humanity, challenges the design creativity and engineering skills of students, who will construct make-shift “homes” from donated and salvaged materials on 10-foot-by-10-foot plots near Main Hall beginning early Saturday afternoon. The shacks will remain up until mid-morning Sunday and at least one member of each team will be required to spend the night in the shack.

“Change jars” will be placed in front of each shack with cash donations serving as votes for a “best shack” contest. An on-site host tent will provide information on issues related to homelessness and the need for affordable housing.

“The idea behind Shack-A-Thon is to not only raise money for Habitat for Humanity, but also to raise awareness about the reality of some of the serious housing issues that we face as a nation,” said Brian Hilgeman, one-time events coordinator for the Lawrence Volunteer and Community Service Center, which is sponsoring the event. “We want to provide a fun atmosphere where students as well as members of the Appleton community can think about problems such as homelessness or affordable housing.”

Shack-a-thon organizers raised more than $4,800 at last year’s event and hope to top that figure this year. All proceeds raised by the event are earmarked for the eventual construction of a Lawrence sponsored Habitat for Humanity home in the Fox Cities.

For more information about Shack-a-thon, contact the Lawrence Volunteer and Community Service Center at 920-832-6644.