“I found my spark in Portugal,” said Chace Avery. “You never imagine that digging a ditch could be fun, but there’s a sense of camaraderie. Habitat for Humanity specifically calls it the ‘fellowship of the hammer’, meaning that if we pick up a hammer to work, we’re working alongside each other together.”
Chace and his group worked for four days on the project, and he says the site coordinator was impressed with their dedication. “When five o’clock rolled around, the coordinator came to tell us we could leave, but it was really a rewarding experience and we didn’t want to stop until we were finished for the day. He told us it was the first time he’d seen that – most groups would just leave.”
Chace brought that enthusiasm back to the University of Evansville. As president of the Habitat for Humanity Club, Chace worked with advisors to coordinate the UE Habitat Barn Blitz. Teams of UE students, faculty, administrators, and alumni came together to build a record-breaking 30 yard barns in just four hours – the first build of its kind in the entire nation.
UE’s Habitat Club advisor, Holly Carter, worked with Chace get the idea off the ground. “Holly and I wanted to do something big that filled a need in the community,” Chace said. “So after a meeting at the Habitat for Humanity local office, we learned that they had built a record breaking number of houses this year, but were behind on the barns. That’s when we knew what our project for this year would be.”
“Had I not come to UE, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. There’s a quote in the University Café Court that says, ‘When I woke up today, I realized I was part of something bigger than myself.’ If UE hadn’t had the philosophy of philanthropy and service, 30 people would not be getting barns.”