Bethel College Community Build Kickoff with Habitat for Humanity

The Bethel College community has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County to build a home for a local family in Mishawaka. The official kickoff will take place on Tuesday morning, April 15, when Bethel College students will be raising the walls for the home.

Each year, the Bethel College Senior Class leaves something behind for the college. Instead of leaving a memorial item on campus, the class of 2008 had the idea of giving back to the community with their Senior Class gift. They initiated a project where the Bethel College community would come together to fully fund and build a Habitat home. The project is thus called the Bethel College Community Build.

The Bethel College Seniors, together with the Bethel College chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Bethel College Alumni Association and community business owners will be funding the home. Bethel students, faculty and staff will be volunteering on the home. The Bethel College Habitat chapter has been raising funds over the past four years, doing fundraisers and awareness activities. With this collaborative project, there is now a great place for those funds to be used.

In addition to the student groups on campus that are raising funds and gathering volunteers, the Bethel College Community Build has been made possible with the support of community leaders and business owners in the Mishawaka/South Bend area. Place Builders, Inc. and Willie's Oakbrook Homes are partners in the project, providing supplies and building services for the home. In-kind donations of electric and concrete are being donated by Garman Electric and Kuert Concrete, respectively. These businesses reflect the strong partnership that Bethel College has with the Michiana community.

The Bethel College Community Build will be taking place from Saturday, April 12, where students will build walls at the Habitat warehouse, until Saturday, May 3, with the house blessing. The official kickoff for the build is Tuesday, April 15, starting at 8 a.m. at the future home of Umekia Johnson and her three children. There, Bethel students and key leaders of the project will be raising the walls for the Johnson Family home. Mayor Rea of Mishawaka will be in attendance, showing the city's support for this build.

All are welcome to be a part of the official kickoff ceremony on Tuesday, April 15, starting at 8 a.m. at 1228 West 6th Street in Mishawaka. The lot for the home is located just east of Logan St., one block south of the railroad tracks. For more information, please call the office of alumni services at 574.807.7619.


Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the arts and sciences offering associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,000 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 12 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. Bethel offers classes at four locations: the Mishawaka campus, the Elkhart Campus and two satellite locations (in Nappanee and in Dowagiac, Mich.). The main Bethel campus is situated on 75 wooded acres in Mishawaka, Ind.

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