STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State and Starkville area Habitat for Humanity volunteers and officials broke ground Monday [Aug. 11] for the sixth annual Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity project.
A service-learning component of the university's Maroon Edition First-Year Reading Experience, the house will benefit a local working mother and her four children.
Angela Lindsey, who is employed at McDonalds, said she and her children, ages 10, 12, 15 and 17, are excited to be chosen to benefit from this year's project. The family will be relocating from a two-bedroom residence to a four-bedroom, two-bath home when it is completed and dedicated during the fall semester.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum continued a tradition by driving the first construction nail. He also presented a $5,000 check from the Office of the President to the Habitat organization.
Keenum said the annual project gives students the opportunity to experience "the blessing of helping and serving others." He specifically commended the Kappa Sigma social fraternity chapter for its dedication to helping fund the Maroon Edition project.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Greek-letter organization donated $20,000.
Keenum said that the Habitat project is especially meaningful as students reflect on this year's Maroon Edition book selection. "Invisible Girls" by Sarah Thebarge is the memoir of a young woman whose life was changed when she reached out to help a family in need.
Through the annual Maroon Edition program, all entering freshmen are encouraged to read in preparation for campus-wide discussions and related events taking place during the fall semester.
"It is wonderful for our students, faculty, staff and administrators to give to others who want to improve their lives," Keenum said, adding that the Lindsey family's new home will be a blessing for many years to come.
Lindsey and each of her children individually expressed appreciation to those involved in the effort. Lindsey said she thanks God, President Keenum, MSU, the Habitat for Humanity family and "last, but not least, my family."
"I'm excited because my mom is happy; we have enough room for all of us," said her 15-year-old daughter, Cedrianna Tate.
MSU student volunteers will work on the house at 84 Murdock Lane each Friday and Saturday throughout the fall semester. The university's Maroon Volunteer Center coordinates the volunteer efforts.
"Many students will work many hours, along with Angela and her family," said Danny Setaro, Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity board president.
Also during the program, Habitat board member Dan Whatley, an MSU facilities management staff member and campus Greek-organization alumnus, announced that, in addition to the Maroon Edition project, the university's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is making plans to fund and build another Habitat for Humanity home for a Starkville family during the spring semester.
For more information about the university's Maroon Edition program, visit www.maroonedition.msstate.edu.
Complete information about MSU is found at www.msstate.edu.