Volume 18 • Issue 2

Going Up …

— Laura Brown ’07 and Ellen Davis

Photo by Lucas Adams

More than a year of planning, fundraising and construction came to fruition in February as Southwestern’s first Habitat for Humanity house was dedicated.

In all, Southwestern volunteers put more than 930 hours into the project. Several parents visiting campus for Family Days even pitched in by helping landscape the house.

The result is a 1,200-square-foot house for Olga Chairez and her two children, Eduardo and Kimberly. Chairez received keys to the house, along with a ceremonial toolbox, at an official dedication ceremony Feb. 17. Among those attending the ceremony was Congressman John Carter, who praised Georgetown for its commitment to building an entire Habitat for Humanity neighborhood. The Southwestern house is one of 20 planned for the Old Mill Village neighborhood, located on the site of a former cottonseed oil factory.

Sophomore Tyler Deaton—one of many students who helped work on the house—had the opportunity to meet the Chairez family and experience their gratitude firsthand. “The tears I’ve seen and the huge smiles on the children’s faces makes me think that this is worth so much more than $50,000 and hundreds of hours of work,” he says. Southwestern had to raise $50,000 to sponsor the house.

Leyka Ishibashi, another sophomore who worked on the project, says she was inspired by the Southwestern community’s response to the project. “It is nice to see that people don’t need to get paid to help someone,” she explains. “Without the volunteer support, the house could not have been completed.”