Habitat for Humanity hosted their annual “Shack Attack” event this past Friday night to raise awareness for the homeless. Roughly 45 students participated this year, and they managed to raise a little over $1,200.
Shack Attack takes place on the Back Quad every year and acts as a fundraiser for the Roanoke Valley Habitat for Humanity group. Students who participate in Shack Attack are responsible for collecting all materials they need in order to build a shack that night. Most students collect cardboard boxes and tarps. The teams of students are then given a 100 sq.ft area in order to build the shack they will sleep in that night. Students had approximately three hours to build the shack and then were fed a soup dinner to imitate what it would be like to go hungry and homeless.
President of Roanoke College’s Habitat chapter, Kadie Duggan, said, “The thing that makes Shack Attack special, is that it gives students a first-hand experience to a situation that many people have to deal with. I think that Shack Attack helps students to understand that homelessness is a problem…”
In addition to just being at the event, each student was also required to donate $25 in order to participate. In the past, Shack Attack has had fluctuating attendance, but the 45 students this year was more participation than they have had in the past years. According to Duggan, the goal this year was to get more participation and to raise awareness and money “to help [Habitat] build more houses.”
A bonfire was set up for students to warm up and get together to reflect on the nature of their situation as the last event on Friday night before spending the night outdoors. Although the students did not have their usual luxuries during this event, they were still luckier than the homeless. It was this realization that allowed Shack Attack’s message to be heard.
Freshman participant Nathan Price said, “It was certainly difficult to build the shack and nerve-wracking to sleep in [the shack], but all in all it was a lot of fun.”
Early in the morning on Saturday, to add some more fun to the event, the shacks were judged and winners were chosen. The categories were most aesthetically pleasing, most livable, most environmentally friendly, and most likely to be found on the streets.
Duggan said, “I did not have an individual favorite shack, but I enjoyed seeing the ingenuity of how people made their shacks. We have pumpkin boxes, tarps, and Swiffers, to name some of the materials. “
This year, Shack Attack received local coverage by news station WDBJ 7, which helped spread the awareness of homelessness to the community. Along with Shack Attack, Habitat for Humanity traveled to South Carolina over Fall Break for a service trip and also raised $246 “trick or treating for change” this year. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and how you can get involved, visit www.habitat.com.