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Published on November 07, 2019

Eastern ‘Habitaters’ Brave the Cold During Annual Shackathon

Several Eastern students bundled up on Nov. 6 to spend the night on Webb Lawn for the annual “Shack-a-thon.” Members of Eastern’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity slept in cardboard boxes with nothing but layers of clothing and a few blankets to protect them from the harsh cold.

The goal of the event, according to club president Sarah Henckel, “is to raise awareness about sub-standard housing and to raise funds for our next build in Willimantic.” The club raised more than $400 by the end of the 24-hour event.

In collaboration with the Windham Habitat chapter, Eastern’s chapter raises funds and builds homes for families in Willimantic. This night, instead of their warm beds, students slept in duct-taped cardboard boxes covered with tarps. While they were uncomfortable during the night, they did realize their situation was much better than those who are homeless. Students were provided with food donations from the Eastern community and had access to an indoor bathroom.

With temperatures dropping to 30 degrees, many encouraging words were offered along with donations to support the fundraising efforts. To draw people’s attention, students also posted signs with statistics about sub-standard housing on Webb Lawn. In addition to an upcoming house building project in Willimantic, the members plan to go to South Carolina in spring 2020 for their annual spring-break trip to build homes with other “Habitaters.”

Written by Molly Boucher