C&IS students Jake Stevens and Madison Kilpatrick are working as PR interns at Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa this semester. Both Stevens and Kilpatrick promote Habitat initiatives and help the organization raise money to build more houses and run their ReStore, a building surplus store that funds projects alongside donations.
“Working with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has been a great opportunity for me this semester,” said Kilpatrick. “Not only have they allowed me to take the reigns on all of the projects I have worked on, they have really opened up my eyes to all of the good that they do. Pretty much everyone has heard of or been exposed to Habitat for Humanity before, but it wasn’t until I had the chance to work with it that I was able to appreciate its mission and the effort that goes into achieving it.”
Stevens and Kilpatrick are applying what they learn in the classroom to provide communication strategies and advocate for Habitat projects in the community. Kilpatrick researched Habitat’s audiences and constructed a communication plan that is being implemented in 2018. She also helped create a newsletter for ReStore to raise awareness.
“It was all great work because they gave me complete freedom to do whatever I thought needed to be done and they really listened to my advice,” Kilpatrick said.
Ellen Potts, director of Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa, enjoys having students from C&IS on board.
“I love the relationships that our long-term student volunteers make with our homeowners and the way that broadens their perspective of people whose background is usually very different from theirs,” Potts said.
Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa is a local chapter of an international organization that works to provide affordable housing for those in need. Since 2011, Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa has built over 60 houses in Tuscaloosa and surrounding cities. Over 1,000 UA students from across campus work with Habitat each semester.
For more information on how to volunteer with Habitat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-349-4629.