The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Third annual Home on the Lawn helps less fortunate

SMU students picked up hammers this month to help build a home and a new future for 24-year-old Veronica Brown and her daughter, Dé Já.

SMU teamed up with Carpenters for Christ, Highland Park United Methodist Church’s Habitat for Humanity affiliate, to construct the home in two weeks. The house was built at the old Mrs. Baird’s Factory at the corner of Mockingbird and Central Expressway. To facilitate an easy move, the house was built on cinder blocks about 3 feet high.

This year marked the third annual Home on the Lawn build. SMU students, faculty and staff worked with HPUMC members each Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday to construct the home.

Katie Montgomery, a junior CCPA major, worked on the Home on the Lawn. She said, “Its fantastic that HPUMC has provided the opportunity to SMU students to get involved with Habitat. It’s also nice that we have a community service opportunity so close to campus. It gives me more motivation to come out here and work.”

Church members worked the morning shift and students manned the afternoon shift. Volunteers worked each day, regardless of the weather. A total of 333 people volunteered, with about 175 from SMU; many of the volunteers worked more than one day.

Many student organizations volunteered as groups, including SMU Law, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Gamma, Asian Council, Hunt Scholars, Pi Beta Phi, CEOs, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, SPARC, Beta Upsilon Chi, DSP, Association of Black Students, RLSH, DOSL, SMU Student Senate, NSCS and Omega Delta Phi.

Carpenters for Christ dedicated its first home in 1996. The organization recruits volunteers for houses which are sponsored by HPUMC. Carpenters for Christ has made the largest commitment to Habitat for Humanity in the world among churches. Their commitment consists of 100 homes totaling $5.5 million. This house represented HPUMC’s 35th home of their 100 home commitment. The cost of Home on the Lawn was funded by the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation.

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, millionaires who gave up their money and dedicated their lives to serving God. Habitat for Humanity creates a simple, decent place to live for less fortunate, but deserving families. The recipient of the home works 400 hours of “sweat equity” as their down payment on their house and other Habitat homes and pays for the house with a no interest, no profit mortgage.

Montgomery said, “I believe that I am so lucky to have a roof over my head every night and think everyone deserves to sleep in a dry, safe environment.”

Aside from HPUMC and SMU, many organizations and companies made the build possible. Consolidated Restaurant Operations made the largest commitment to cater during the Home on the Lawn build. CRO has catered the lunches for all three of the Home on the Lawn builds. Their owner, John Harkey, belongs to HPUMC. Each workday, CRO provided 40 lunches and 100 for the dedication ceremony.

Bill Reeves, the committee chair for Carpenters for Christ, said that the SMU students were “great kids, hard workers, willing to do anything we needed them to do. They have showed lots of energy.”

The new homeowner, Veronica Brown, said she was “thrilled and ecstatic to be a home owner.” Brown said the SMU students were “nice, sweet, and helpful in coming out and doing something that they didn’t have to do. They worked really hard and were really friendly and well mannered.” Brown added, “I think that they had a good time.”

Brown is a full-time student at the University of North Texas majoring in applied technology training development. Brown also works full time for Comp USA.

Brown’s experience with SMU is not limited to her new home. Her parents met while working as chefs in Mac’s Place, McElvaney’s cafeteria.

The house will be moved to 2515 Ann Arbor in the Oak Cliff neighborhood on Feb. 27 during the early morning hours to avoid traffic. The Brown family will be able to move into their new home in March.

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