Local Students Work on 25th Annual Habitat for Humanity Homecoming Build

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The Clemson University Habitat for Humanity Homecoming build will kick off Friday, Oct. 12 on Bowman Field. This is the 25th year of the project and the 26th home constructed on the Clemson campus.

Each year, hundreds of students, university organizations and community members donate more than 1,800 man-hours to build a home for a local family in need. The on-campus part of the project is completed in just 10 days leading up to Homecoming week and the Oct. 20 Homecoming football game. By then, the house walls and roof will be completed. The house will be moved to Stephens Road in Clemson, where it will be finished.

The project is managed by the Clemson University Habitat for Humanity Club and supervised by Pickens County Habitat for Humanity. Together, they are responsible for raising funds, collecting in-kind donations and recruiting volunteers.

The home is being built for Anthony and Shena Tolbert and their daughters, McKenzie, 6, and Addison, 6 months. Anthony Tolbert uses a wheelchair due to an accident several years ago, according to Jill Evans, executive director of Pickens County Habitat for Humanity. He works at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Clemson.

They now live in a small apartment that is not accessible, so they are excited about moving into their new home, which will be fully accessible when it’s finished in the spring or early summer.

“We are so thrilled to be in our 25th year of this Homecoming tradition – which brings high visibility to Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building strength, stability, self-reliance and shelter in Pickens County,” Evans said.

Jordan Nicklos, coordinator of the project and a construction science and management major from Austin, Texas, sees the Habitat project as a learning opportunity.

“The most important part of my major is field experience,” he said. “When I’m working on the build I’m practicing my techniques and seeing the process from start to finish. It really helps me be confident about my future career.”

The construction of one Habitat for Humanity house costs about $65,000. A majority of the money is collected through donations while other funding comes from campus organizations like Clemson Undergraduate Student Senate.

“You want to leave Clemson knowing that you’ve done something for your university,” said Nicklos, “It’s important for me to give back through service, and to know that I’ve put in hard work to make a difference in this community.”

The home will be completed by Oct. 19, then moved to its permanent location.

Written by Carey McLaughlin, Clemson University Class of 2019.