Roanoke College partners with Habitat for Humanity to build home for local family

This year marks the 18th annual ‘R House’ build

Students at Roanoke College have been getting a very hands-on lesson this week in community and service.

They are helping to build a home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley.

The annual “R House” build transforms a Roanoke College parking lot into a construction spot.

“Here in a parking lot where we can spread out and do a new construction, build it as a four-piece modular, it just gives us a lot of opportunity for more people to get engaged in it that might not have been able to otherwise,” said Brian Clark, Construction Director for Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley.

This year marks the 18th R House build. It happens every year during student orientation, giving incoming freshmen a true lesson in giving back.

“It’s rewarding to kind of see them grow as people and learn something outside the classroom with hands-on experience,” said Lewis Edwards, a Roanoke College senior who served as a team leader during this year’s project.

Students said the project is even more meaningful because they work alongside the woman who will buy and get the keys to this home later this year.

“She meets the new freshmen that come in to work on the build,” said Madison Smith, a Roanoke College senior and team leader for this year’s R House build. “She’s so personable and she’s been working really hard for this Habitat house for her and her kid, and she really, really deserves it.”

It is two weeks of work that will help to build community on campus and a lifetime of memories for the homebuyer and her daughter.

“I think the fact that we all kind of come together to build this house in such a short amount of time is really rewarding,” Edwards said.

The home will be shipped to its permanent site in Roanoke to finish construction. Roanoke College students will also continue to volunteer with Habitat to complete the build, which is expected to happen in December.

Later this summer, WSLS will kick off our ninth “Home for Good” project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a deserving local family.

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