Tis the Season to Be Charitable
With the holiday season among us, people may begin to feel that familiar itch to help those in need and give back to their community. Helping organizations such as Habitat for Humanity raise money is one way to fulfill that internal desire.
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that has been helping people for more than 30 years by building and rehabilitating homes for families in need.
On Dec. 11, the Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity will hold its sixth annual Christmas 5k Run/Walk, a fundraising event that raises awareness about the organization and encourages people in the community to get involved.
Dr. James Delaney, associate professor of philosophy at Niagara University, is a member of the board of directors for the Niagara Falls affiliation of Habitat.
(The 5k) is definitely great for people who run, but it's not just for runners, Delaney explains. The main thing is to get out and run or walk, and all of the money goes to Habitat for Humanity.
The race begins at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and runs along the gorge toward Whirlpool State Park. It's supposed to be a really scenic run, Delaney adds.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the race starts at 11 a.m. Participants can pre-register for the race online or by filling out a registration form. The pre-registration fee is $15 ; the fee for those who register the day of the race is $18.
Delaney says although Habitat is an international organization, it is still a very local, community-oriented project.
According to their website, Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity strives to give God's people a way to build their community through providing homes to families and a shared sense of accomplishment.
The idea is that shelter is a basic human need, Delaney says. Habitat builds decent houses in neighborhoods for families in need.
Needy families for whom houses are built and restored also give back to the organization by volunteering in different fundraising events and helping fund new houses for other families. Houses are built for needy families who are given low, reasonable mortgage rates. The mortgage payments made by the families are then used to build new houses.
According to the Habitat for Humanity website, volunteers and donors have helped build over 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.
Community service hours are offered to NU students who volunteer their time both before and after the 5k race to help set up and tear down the event. Those who are interested should contact
Delaney via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for the 5k, students and faculty can either visit www.niagarahabitat.org or pick up a registration form in the Campus Activities Office, located in Lower Level Gallagher Center.
Additional information about how to volunteer with Habitat can also be found on this website.