GALLERY: New beginnings: NKU’s Habitat for Humanity helps build community


Provided by NKU's Habitat for Humanity

Members of NKU’s Habitat for Humanity say one of the greatest rewards is giving back to the community.

NKU’s Habitat for Humanity chapter spends their Saturday’s rebuilding homes for needy families in Newport and plan to do more builds similar in the future.

A recent build was organized on Sept. 17 by Jozie Banas, co-president of NKU’s Habitat for Humanity and senior psychology and spanish major to help Newport families have a safe place to live.

“We were helping to tear everything out of this old house from the early 1900’s and remodeling it, rebuilding walls, redoing plumbing and electricity, helping to revamp the backyard and redo the fence,” Banas said. “We are actually going back to that same location on October 29, and November 12 so we actually get to see the progress as it’s happening.”

NKU’s Habitat for Humanity  first on-campus event was on Oct. 22 with a 5k pumpkin run that began at 10 a.m. on Kenton Drive, near the Recreation Center.

Banas said they have future plans to do more work within the community this semester and that this organization is a great way to help out the surrounding areas.

“We’re going to have some members go out into the community and do some leaf raking for local churches,” Banas said.

Habitat members do their best to give back to families in need, according to Banas.

“Habitat for Humanity works with families who have never owned their own home before, and they get to have the house on a very low mortgage,” Banas said. “And it provides the family with a safe, stable environment and it really makes a difference for the kids of the family because their seeing that they have place to study, they’ve got a place that they’re proud of and they can bring friends home.”

Luis Loza, a senior double major in electronics and mechanical manufacturing engineering technology and co-president of the club has always been a fan of giving back to the community and  says it is one of the greatest rewards of being apart of Habitat for Humanity.  

“I volunteered some in high school but not as much as I wanted, and then I heard of Habitat for Humanity here,” Loza said. “We went to a build and the first experience was amazing and I fell in love with it.”

With Habitat for Humanity, members are simply required to show up for meetings and find a specific build or event that they are interested in participating in.

“With Habitat you get exposed to a lot, you never know what you’re interested in until you try it,” Loza said. “I encourage people to come try and see if they like it and want to continue. With Habitat we’re literally building the next generation. Statistics prove that the families we help, their kids are more likely to go to college and succeed and have better careers.”

Simon Boxall, a senior political science major and international minor has been a member of Habitat for Humanity for a year now.

“I always feel like I have a need to help people, “ Boxall said. “I thought joining this club would be a good way to help give back to the community. All I’m doing is putting up time that I would’ve otherwise not used and using some of my weekends to go help build a house that someone who has low income can afford.”

Boxall recently was accepted into the Peace Corps and after graduating in May will leave in June to spend 2 years in Mawali volunteering.

“I decided to apply because again, I feel like I need to help people and rather than getting a job right out of college or maybe even a masters, I’d rather just spend the next two years to travel and help people along the way,” Boxall said.

After Boxall learns as much as he can about the culture in Mawali, he will be working to help with food security.

Because Mawali has droughts, the Peace Corps works with volunteers to make sure families and communities have enough water and food for those months.

“While I’m there I will have 3 months of staying with a family and learning another language in 3 months, at least enough to carry on a conversation,” Boxall said. “From there I will be working with HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria prevention and food security.”

Habitat for Humanity is a good stepping stone for anyone wanting to climb the ladder to helping people and underprivileged families.

“The community is as good as the people in it, make it,” Boxall said. “If people just give up on the community, then we have terrible parks, homes and environments. Doing community service strengthens bonds of the community and leaves people with a better understanding and a better appreciation of their environment.”