York University’s Habitat for Humanity club is diving from one chilly fundraising venture to another in the space of a few weeks – from bathing suits to wooly scarves and hats.
After raising more than $1,000 dashing in and out of the freezing waters of Lake Ontario for its New Year’s Day Polar Bear Dip, members of Habitat for Humanity at York plan to sleep in two makeshift cabins with the goal of raising a total of $2,000 – or $1,000 per cabin. The 13 students who participated in the annual Polar Bear Dip helped represent York for the second consecutive year.
|Above: Members of York’s Habitat for Humanity club brave the freezing cold waters of Lake Ontario on New Year’s Day to raise money to build houses|
Dubbed the Home-A-Thon, Habitat for Humanity members will pre-construct 10 ft. by 10 ft. cabins at Habitat for Humanity’s head offices and finish construction set up on Ryerson University’s downtown campus Friday, Jan. 27, at 9am. That is where students will take up the challenge of spending 24 hours “living” outside, until the cabins come down the following morning.
About 20 York students will be joined by teams from Ryerson University, George Brown College, Habitat Youth Coalition and the University of Toronto. The six cabins will be on Gould Street, Ryerson’s pedestrian walkway.
“We are kind of leading the way on this,” says Curtis Hector, president of York’s Habitat for Humanity club and team leader for one of the cabins. York is currently leading the fundraising efforts, having raised the most for the event to date – more than $700. To donate, click here.
Right: Some of the York Habitat for Humanity students before they took the plunge at the Sunnyside Pavilion. Curtis Hector is in the centre wearing a cowboy hat
The students will spend one day and night outside or sleeping in the cabin to raise money for Habitat for Humanity and to raise awareness about its mission of using home ownership as a means to end the cycle of poverty.
“The idea is to highlight cramped, substandard living circumstances faced by many in our community,” says Hector, a fourth-year student in York’s social work program. “These are out-of-the-box events. We are traditionally known for our builds. The best part about this event – like so many others we do – is that all the money donated, one hundred per cent, goes directly toward building homes.”
But the students won’t be standing around doing nothing. They’ll be busy figuring out ways to raise the most funds, including the hugs campaign, Hugs for Humanity – Donations for Habitat, at Dundas Square and a Buy-a-Brick campaign. For the Buy-a-Brick campaign, people donate, sign their name on a paper brick and stick it on a cabin wall with the hope of covering an entire cabin in them. There will also be yoga classes offered, spoken-word artists, political speakers and bands to engage passersby, as well as a film projected onto a large screen in the evening.
For more information on the club and its activities, contact Hector at email@example.com.