The Mercer Chapter of Habitat for Humanity received two national grants from State Farm to contribute to their annual Mercer Build.
“The grant was worth five thousand dollars, if we are able to raise that much then will receive the matching amount. That will be a total of ten thousand dollars to go toward the Mercer build. We also won a separate one thousand dollar grant for a revitalization project that we are doing in Lynmore Estates,” said chapter President Thomaesa Brundage.
After learning about the opportunity from Macon Area Habitat’s Jim Mercer, Development Director, the chapter applied for the grants the previous school year, and received notification that the funds would be available for the housing project Mercer Habitat funds each year.
In order to be eligible to apply for the grant, Mercer Habitat had to complete a rigorous process noting all of the organization’s fundraising activities on campus, and the active role the chapter played within their community. Unlike many grant application processes, Mercer Habitat did not have to write a grant application, but fill out a survey instead. The questions are open-ended, as the application asked for short response of at least 500 words to each question.
“We had to complete a phone interview with the people from Habitat for Humanity International, the executive director of Macon Area Habitat (Harold Tessendorf), faculty advisor (David Good) and myself as President of the Mercer Chapter,” said Thomaesa Brundage. “They ask us different questions like how we plan on raising the money, what sort of advocacy we do, how active we are on campus, as well as different ways to gauge the role we play on campus as far as leadership roles.”
As part of the terms of the grant, the chapter has to host a publicity event with a regional representative from State Farm in attendance to speak on the achievements of Mercer Habitat. The organization hopes to accomplish this with their annual faculty luncheon on February 22.
The purpose of the luncheon is to raise funds to go toward the Mercer build, and to also raise the five thousand dollars to contribute to the State Farm Matching Grant. We just want to make sure that the faculty and staff understand what Habitat for Humanity is, as well as the event being a promotional and awareness raising opportunity.
“We want to let them know more about us, so that they will be willing to give. We also want to use this event to let the faculty and staff know what initiatives we are doing on campus and in the community, in order to raise more funds for this organization,” said Brundage.
Mercer Habitat for Humanity is expecting to have at least 75 faculty and staff in attendance at the luncheon to be held later this month at noon in the Religious Life Center.
When asked about the recognition of their efforts, Brundage said, “It makes me feel really good, because we do a lot of hard work for Habitat for Humanity, and that we are being recognized and having these financial contributions given to us. At the end of the day, I know that the money will go towards building a house for someone who does not already have one. It makes our job a little bit easier, because it helps us move toward the goal of eliminating poverty housing one house at a time.”