Habitat Walk-a-Thon set for March 17

Ahjaney Friar, Staff Writer

For some students, completing their volunteer hours is just another box  to check on their long list of requirements. Sophomore Ishaan Jathal, on the other hand, wants to make sure he leaves a mark in his community.

“I started off volunteering just for hours at this place called the ReStore where Habitat sells furniture for low prices,” Jathal said. “I saw kids my very own age working with their families found out they were volunteering to get enough hours so that they can help their family apply for a low-income house for Habitat, and that really stuck with me. I was really moved by how much effort they were putting in.”

The chapter will be holding its first fund-raising event on March 17 and hopes to get the student body involved.

“We want everybody to just get involved with the community more and not just want to volunteer for the sake of doing it but to actually do it because they believe in the cause,” Jathal said. “We are having a Walk-a-Thon on March 17 at Wickham Park and we want everyone who can come to go and walk for the community and have fun. We’ll have food, live music and stuff. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Jathal aimed to find a way he could make a difference and also get others involved in the process.

“I just brought it up to Dr. Spero [Tshontikidis] and was like ‘Hey I want to start this chapter for Habitat for Humanity’ and he was fine with it,” Jathal said. “But Habitat made me do a lot of paperwork to get registered because they are an international organization, so there was a lot of stuff they had to process. I had to fill out a lot of forms that said we were an official chapter and they had to make sure we had a faculty adviser [Spero] did most of the paperwork.”

Vice President of Developing and Marketing for Habitat for Humanity of Brevard, Pam Davis said Jathal’s drive is commendable.

“We are always thrilled when we have interest in starting a campus chapter,” Davis said. “Campus chapters help Habitat for humanity advocate, educate, build and fund raise to eliminate poverty housing. What impressed me the most about Ishaan and his team was their passion and dedication to making an impact in their community.”