N.C. State’s Shack-a-Thon works to Build-a-Block

N.C. State’s Shack-a-Thon works to Build-a-Block

N.C. State Shack-a-Thon, an event organized by the university's Habitat for Humanity chapter, raised money to build 11 town homes with 26 shacks in 5 days.

N.C. State’s annual Shack-a-Thon took over the Brickyard last week, hosting 26 campus organizations’ shacks in efforts to raise $65,000 for the Wake County Habitat for Humanity. Previously, Shack-a-Thon donations went toward building one single home for a low-income family. However, this year, N.C. State’s Habitat for Humanity chapter has partnered with Habitat of Humanity of Wake County to “Build-a-Block” of 11 town homes on Lake Wheeler Road for local families in need.

Organizations participating in Shack-a-Thon must construct a shack 12 feet by 12 feet by 10 feet that stays in the Brickyard for one week. It must be occupied 24/7 by at least two people at night and one during the day. Enthusiasm for Shack-a-Thon was apparent as students stuck by their shacks, even in the spotty rain throughout the week. N.C. State’s Habitat for Humanity chapter networked with businesses to gain sponsorships, and student organizations worked to raise money by selling items including T-shirts, baked goods and artwork.

The Caldwell Fellows sell T-shirts during the day in efforts to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.


Members of N.C. State’s Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity are hopeful to sell ice pops, even in the rain.

Students described Shack-a-Thon as more than just a fundraiser, but as a community. Over the week, the shacks became a hangout place for students in between classes, and the event served as an opportunity to meet new folks as well. Members of the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, invited their pledges to join them in the shack to bond. The Caldwell Fellows hosted a game of tug-of-war on Tuesday night. The Impact Leadership Village and Engineering Village joined forces to create an escape room experience they called “Escape the Shack.”


Students from the Impact Leadership Village enjoy a sense of community during Shack-a-Thon.

Anna Jackson, a member of the Engineering Village, said she’s proud of the collaboration of the two villages. She said, “This year we’re offering a unique experience by joining the two organizations and working with more people.”

Shack-a-Thon has also given students a view into what some less-fortunate families have to live like. Living in the shacks for a week gives students a perspective on what it’s like to not have dependable housing and how to work together as a community to overcome those obstacles.

“We’re here to spread awareness for affordable housing,” said Parker Colbath, a junior studying chemical engineering and this year’s director of Shack-a-Thon. “We’re building for each other and working together as a community.”

Amanda Nguyen

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