Habitat for Humanity, a club that helps the community

Helping to rebuild lives, one house at a time.


Emma Behrmann, Copy Editor

An organization that brings together communities to build homes and hope for those less fortunate- Habitat for Humanity. This international non-governmental organization (NGO) is featured as a club at Palm Harbor University High School.

Involvement in this club allows students to take part in builds, where they are able to help construct a home alongside the future homeowner. Members can volunteer at the Habitat Restore, here they organize donated furniture, home items, tools, and parts for appliances that are sold at a discounted price.

“My favorite part of Habitat is the builds. I like to be on the site doing something that I know will impact someone’s life. The Restore is less exciting but I still like knowing I’m helping out in some way,” Ryin Bennett sophomore said.

Habitat for Humanity in Pinellas County acquires donated land, and purchases land from donations and money made in the Restore. This land is where volunteers will build a new house, or repair an old one in order to provide a new home for someone less fortunate.

“We make affordable housing for people who need it. Rent can equate to about $1,200 a month, which is a lot for some people to pay. We build a house and we sell it back to the homeowner at a 0% interest rate,” Jack Shanks, director of volunteer services said.

Habitat homes are in several places in Pinellas County, from St. Petersburg, Largo, Clearwater, Tarpon, to Safety Harbor. Pinellas Habitat is the second largest in the country; they built 59 houses last year, and hope to exceed that amount this year. Therefore, they need an abundance of volunteers.

Volunteering at builds and Restores is a major component of the club at PHUHS. At each meeting members have the opportunity to sign up for a build, Restore, or special event.

“You are changing somebody’s life. You can see a physical change in a person. You are giving them a whole new life, a new future for them and their kids,” Shanks said.

Outside of construction, Habitat tries to find funds for builds because they are a non-profit. The Valspar golf tournament is one special event Habitat attends. At this event they make about $180,000 to $190,000, which allows them to do what they do, change lives.

“Habitat allows you to impact your community,” Beth Chernes, volunteer services coordinator said, “We have about a thousand volunteers that come out to help and they come back every year because the builds are fun.”

This NGO, built on the backs of volunteers and donations gives new hope to those less fortunate. When searching for a new club to join check out Habitat for Humanity, a club that will provide more than just something to put on a college application.