Each year, NC State students build shacks and camp out in the Brickyard to raise awareness about affordable housing. More than 40 student organizations raised $65,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, including the Global and Arts Villages.
Izabela Webster, a junior studying animal science and Ambassador for Global Village, volunteered with the Global Colors Shack because she wanted to help her international and domestic residents give back to the community in a fun and unique way.
“I have participated in Shack-A-Thon in the past through the Goodnight Scholars and, although they were competing shacks this year, I showed my support toward both,” she said. “I helped promote the Global Colors Shack-A-Thon within my Village and encouraged for our fundraising events.”
Emma Deuitch, a sophomore studying horticultural science and a Resident Advisor (RA) in Turlington Hall, also helped with the shack. She participated in Shack-A-Thon to get more involved on campus and spread the word about Arts Village.
“We had a great time talking with other Villages and organizations who we otherwise probably wouldn’t know,” she said. “For example, we teamed up with Cultural Exchange Network (CENET) which a lot of the students didn’t know much about. Since our collaboration, some of the villagers have signed up for more volunteer opportunities with CENET.”
Deuitch said the Global Colors Shack was built with materials donated by Guy C. Lee of Clayton, N.C. and painted with donations from various Sherwin Williams locations. Village volunteers assembled the shack a day prior to the fundraiser, then dissembled it, transferred it to the Brickyard and reassembled it again.
“The Arts Village was a huge help in painting the shack and coming up with painting ideas,” Deuitch said. “Our RAs were also wonderful in creating their own fundraising ideas and raising some of the initial funds which went toward our bid money.”
Volunteering at Shack-A-Thon taught Deuitch about the importance of leadership. Since the event was student-run, it was up to the students to take charge and delegate tasks.
“I was so impressed by how some of my peers really stepped up to the plate to create their own fundraising ideas,” she said. “I personally feel like I was able to strengthen my leadership skills by organizing donations from companies. I created shared documents to organize which companies we would ask and what we would be asking for.”
Deuitch said she also learned how to organize an event, including different fundraising ideas, donations and schedules, which she had not done before. “I have already started having more confidence to start fundraising ideas for my other clubs,” she said.
However, Deuitch mostly enjoyed everyone coming together to support a good cause. “It was really humbling to see so many students of different backgrounds come together for a good cause,” she said. “Set-up day was especially fun in a hectic way. Everyone was borrowing and lending tools and paint, and it just made me feel like a part of something bigger.”
For Deuitch, Shack-A-thon was a great experience for a great cause. She saw people she’s known for years push themselves harder than she’d ever seen before, like Sicely Sohn, a freshman studying physics and an RA, who took charge of building the shack.
“We had a plan, but the plan and the man that was going to help had issues and could not help us any longer,” she said. “I stepped up and had the shack built at my house, and I stayed through the entire day to help paint and finish up the shack. Most of my leadership was in setting up the shack. I became involved with Shack-A-Thon because it is not only a great cause, but a wonderful community builder,” Sohn said. “The Arts Village goes through an initial period where everyone awkwardly wants to hangout, but they don’t know each other well enough yet. I got the Village involved so that we could have a great cause and fun activity to really bring us together.”