30 Years Later, Baylor Habitat Still Breaks Ground

Members of Baylor's Habitat for Humanity chapter cut a two-by-four to be put into the frame of a house for a family in need. Courtesy Art

By Pablo Gonzales | Assistant News Editor

This fall, the Baylor chapter of Habitat for Humanity celebrates 30 years as a collegiate chapter. Since its founding, the organization has dedicated itself to providing homes for those in need in the greater Waco area.

According to the Baylor Habitat for Humanity website, collegiate chapters are student-run organizations that partner with affiliate Habitat for Humanity groups in their area. Since the chartering of the first chapter, chapters have formed across the country with the mission to eliminate substandard housing. As the first collegiate chapter, the Baylor chapter has paved the way for over 800 campus charters in 35 countries.

Dr. Charles McDaniel, associate professor in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and church-state studies and the adviser of the Baylor chapter of Habitat for Humanity said he is incredibly proud to see the chapter serve the Waco community.

Since the Baylor chapter was the first in the nation, McDaniel said that the chapter serves as a model for other collegiate chapters across the United States in its 30 years of existence.

“Having attended various Habitat for Humanity conferences and events over the years, it’s obvious that the Baylor chapter of Habitat for Humanity is still regarded as a model for other colleges and universities,” McDaniel said. “Our student leadership has done an excellent job of consistently promoting the values and visions of both Baylor and Habitat for Humanity.”

For Austin senior and president Lauren Guida, her favorite part about being a member of Habitat for Humanity is meeting the families who will live in the home and seeing the process of building a house from beginning to end.

“My favorite part is the people I meet and the stories they tell but also the feeling you get when you see the reaction of the families who will move into the home,” Guida said. “Seeing the process of how the home comes out of nothing and how each task that is completed gets us one step closer to finally building a finished home.”

The Baylor chapter of Habitat for Humanity has worked with Waco Habitat for Humanity to serve the housing needs of the Waco area. Guida believes it is important for students to get involved because they can help be a part of the solution to the need for quality, sustainable housing in Waco.

“I think it is important that Baylor has a chapter because of the need in Waco,” Guida said. “The poverty rate here is higher than the national average, so a lot of people don’t have home. It is important for students to be a part of Habitat for Humanity to help the community they live in.”

The Baylor chapter of Habitat for Humanity meets once a month. To learn more, contact Lauren Guida, president at lauren_guida@baylor.edu

For the Baylor chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a house is not just a home, its hope.