Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Real Estate Club Build Day with Habitat for Humanity!

On Friday, October 28, 2011, members from the UW Real Estate Club volunteered with the UW Madison Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes for families in need and provides mortgages at a zero percent interest rate. Included in the group were club members and Graaskamp Center affiliates Grant Keebler, Sam Schreiber, Kelsey Friederich, Alison Zuba, Courtney Flanders, and Martha Flanders (pictured left to right). We had gorgeous weather and a positive attitude - what better way to spend a beautiful Friday afternoon in Madison?

The house is being built for Song Vang (pictured far right), Neng Cheng, and their five adorable children. They currently live in an apartment building, infested with cockroaches and with landlords who do not care about their tenant’s living conditions. The family’s dream is to own a house one day with enough room for their children to grow up happy and healthy, in a loving and warm environment. Song devotes every weekend at the build site, working with different Madison volunteers and sharing his story. It was such a moving experience to work alongside the homeowner, Song, as his dream home was being built.

Construction began on October 1, 2011 and will continue into the winter. When we arrived, the basement was underway and we all worked on different projects ranging from measuring and cutting 2x4’s, nailing an interior wall together with three separate doorways, constructing the window supports, and a final (and very intense) group project involving the movement of a heavy shower base. The majority of the volunteers had minimal construction experience, so the day was spent learning from the other volunteer’s prior experience, from the projects director and UW-Madison Habitat representative Devin (pictured top left), from the homeowner Song, and from the project manager, Justin (pictured top right).

Working with Habitat for Humanity was an incredible experience, and is highly recommended by all of the volunteers who participated. If you are at UW student or employee and are interested in helping Song and Neng build their new home, contact Devin Burke at For more information about Real Estate Club volunteer opportunities, you can contact Courtney Flanders at


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