300 MTSU STUDENTS EMBARK ON TWO-WEEK BUILDING BLITZ FOR LOCAL FAMILY
SGA Still Working to Raise Money for $50K Volunteer Project, Donations Welcomed
(MURFREESBORO)—MTSU students will sponsor the first Habitat for Humanity home, with 300 student volunteers beginning construction this week on a new house that will be completed within two weeks and dedicated at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.
Walls will begin going up Thursday, Oct. 18, at the construction site located at 446 State St. in Murfreesboro, as teams working in two shifts labor to build a Habitat home for the Bautista family, whose five members have lived with family, in a basement and in public housing over the years, but never had a place to truly call home.
Jacqueline I. Victory, director of MTSU’s Office of Leadership & Service, said the MTSU Student Government Association has spent two years working to raise the $50,000 needed to build the Habitat home for the Bautista family, which is headed by Matthew and Leinaala, the parents of three children—Makaiio, Makamae and Makana.
Originally from Hawaii, the Bautista family “is very grateful to Middle Tennessee State University for sponsoring their home (and) providing volunteers to help build their home, but mostly for allowing their dream of having a home and a back yard for their children come true,” Victory said.
Dubbed the MTSU Blitz Build, the student-sponsored, two-week home construction schedule is an intense one, Victory confirmed, with volunteers
standing and aligning walls and preparing walls for trusses on Oct. 18; setting trusses and installing fascia, deadwood and exterior doors Oct. 19; installing roof decking, truss backing and windows Oct. 20; preparing the home for vinyl siding Oct. 21; and installing the siding, insulation and rough gradework on Oct. 22-24.
The second and final week of the project, students will form for concrete pour on Oct. 25 and pour concrete, as needed, Oct. 26, before completing gradework and landscaping on Oct. 27. The house will be prepared for interior trim Oct. 28, and the following day, Oct. 29, interior trim and doors will be installed and prepared for painting. Next, volunteers will paint the interior and clean floors and vinyl Oct. 30 before finally installing the home’s hardware accessories and completing house cleanup on Oct. 31.
Victory said that in addition to helping students build their home, Matthew and Leinaala will participate in MTSU’s Homecoming Parade on Nov. 10. Moreover, she added, students are still working to help raise money for the volunteer project.
***To contribute to the MTSU Blitz Build, tax-deductible donations may be made to the Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity, 850 Mercury Blvd., Murfreesboro, or brought to Room 326-S of MTSU’s Keathley University Center for delivery to the local Habitat office.
Although the Bautistas—whom Victory describes as a “hard-working family with kindred spirits and good hearts”—have endured hardships throughout the years, they don’t complain, she observed.
“We are a very close family,” said Leinaala, smiling. “We try to do everything with a smile, and always look at the positive side of things. We love MTSU and we are so excited to meet and work with the students on our home build.
“Because of MTSU’s generosity, Makaiio will have his football room, Makamae and Makana will have their camouflage room, and they will share an orange bathroom. Some may tease us about the bright colors in our home,” she added, “but we would not have it any other way!”
•ATTENTION, MEDIA: Media representatives are welcomed and encouraged to visit the MTSU Blitz Build Habitat site and interview, photograph and record visual footage for broadcast, as needed. Project organizers have indicated that Oct. 18-20 will be especially good days for video footage to be secured. Building-site shifts begin at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the construction days noted herein.For additional media inquiries, please contact Lisa L. Rollins or Tom Tozer in MTSU’s Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-2919, or e-mail Rollins at firstname.lastname@example.org.