Villanova University students are passionate about bettering the world around them, providing nearly 250,000 hours of service to the community annually, with Habitat for Humanity a key beneficiary. Villanova—and its students and faculty—are being recognized for their efforts by Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County. On Thursday, April 6, Villanova will be honored as Habitat Montco’s Partner of the Year. University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, will accept the award at the nonprofit’s Block Party Gala.
According to Habitat Montco’s Executive Director Marianne Lynch, the University has profoundly influenced organization’s success. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for Villanova,” she says of the enterprise which has grown from serving one family with one program to 1,100 families with four programs. “Today, we’re one of the top producing Habitats in the United States. We’ve been motivated to excel, and we built our capacity thanks to the support of faculty, students, alumni and University administrators. We couldn’t be more grateful.”
Since 2002, Villanova’s Habitat for Humanity student chapter has raised more than $150,000 and provided more than 7,000 volunteer hours to Habitat Montco. In addition to building and fixing homes, they advocate with elected officials and teach young students about Habitat’s mission. But it doesn’t stop there. Faculty, alumni and University administrators are also actively involved.
For example, Villanova School of Business professor Dr. Robert Nydick—President Emeritus of Habitat Montco—has been a driving force both locally and nationally. Inspired by some of his business students who volunteered for Habitat, he began participating in builds around the country, and today, encourages his students to do the same. He also incorporates charitable giving into his lesson plans to teach business decision making. “The students actively raise money, apply what I taught them and choose where to allocate it,” he explains. Habitat is one of the recipients.
Today, Habitat Montco is benefiting from the volunteer service of undergraduate and graduate students who are doing research projects, and from alumni who serve on the board of directors and on various volunteer committees.
“Villanova’s mission statement says that the University is committed to justice, with a special concern for the poor,” explains Dr. Nydick. “Our work with Habitat Montco is a terrific model, one that proves what can be accomplished when we work together with love and knowledge.”
About Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County: Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County’s mission is to eliminate substandard housing. In partnership with caring individuals and organizations, Habitat constructs simple, decent affordable homes and empowers hardworking, low-income families to become homeowners by providing no-interest mortgages. Habitat also completes critical home repairs, provides financial literacy and life skills classes, and is revitalizing neighborhoods. For more information, call 610-278-7710, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.habitatmontco.org.