By: Austin Deal
Halloween just came to an end, and I wanted to take a moment to share the commitment University Housing has to giving back to the community. Every year, we support a non-profit organization called Habitat for Humanity. We usually support building a home, and throughout the years, University Housing has built 13 homes for families in the Knoxville community. All of the residence halls on campus have hosted programs to help raise money for this organization. It ranges from Penny Wars to an annual Haunted House.
Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-profit organization that focuses building new homes for families in need in the local area. Habitat for Humanity services include fundraising, family selection, support, construction and mortgage services.
As a department, we focus on giving back all of the time, prioritizing different charities. Every October, we gather as a staff and pledge how much we would like to donate from our pay check. The fundraising campaign is called Campus Chest. Though this university program, the University of Tennessee campus raises a lot of money that goes to charities all year.
The Reese Hall Haunted House is an annual event where the staff and residents take over the basement and turn off all of the lights. Each Resident Assistant is assigned a “room”, where they are in charge to decorate each room. All of the rooms flow together and continue through the entire basement area. When you walk in, it is pitch black. This process is actually spooky, so you are with a tour guide the entire time so that they can walk you through with a flashlight. The hallway process had to be one of the scariest parts, there is people running at you, slamming doors, and screaming the entire hallway, which seemed like an intercity. This year, they raised $1,922.75 for Habitat for Humanity, and recorded about 637 participants.
Every year, I attend the Reese Haunted House to support this great cause, and every year the thrills get scarier and scarier. I cannot wait to see what other residence halls do to raise money for Habitat for Humanity!
Austin Deal is a senior, majoring in Political Science. In his free time, he is usually headed to Sonic with his friends.