Women's Basketball Kicks Off Community Service Initiative
DES MOINES, Iowa – Drake women’s basketball student-athletes and coaches volunteered with the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday as they helped build a house on 18th Street, east of the Drake campus.
The event kicked off head coach Jennie Baranczyk’s initiative for the program to complete 1,000 hours of community service during the 2013-14 academic year. Baranczyk and her staff along with several student-athletes painted and assisted the construction crew with other needed tasks inside the home that is scheduled to be completed in mid-July for a local family.
“Volunteering is a great opportunity for us to help out in the Des Moines community and give back,” Baranczyk said. “Partnering with Habitat for Humanity to kick off our community service initiative is a perfect way for us to work towards 1,000 hours. Our young women are excited to get more involved in the community and represent not only the women’s basketball program, but Drake University.”
After the house is completed it will be purchased by Tika and Hem, who immigrated to Des Moines four years ago from Bhutan. Tika works at Lutheran Services of Iowa as an interpreter and Hem is a Certified Nurse’s Assistant. They have two children: a little girl, Sofia who is three and Suzan, their one-year-old son.
“I’m excited to start this,” junior Kyndal Clark said. “So many people have helped all of us (student-athletes) get to where we are today this is a way to repay that to others that need help. It’s especially important to me being from Joplin, Mo., where devastating tornados hit two years ago, to help with things like this. I had to move to Des Moines right after the tornados hit to start at Drake so I wasn’t able to help stay and help with the cleanup.”
Qualified working families are chosen by Habitat based on three criteria; need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat. Partner families receive extensive financial education and must donate 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” to Habitat. Along with a down payment and sweat equity, families purchase their home for the value of the materials and land with a 20-year, no interest mortgage.