Act! Speak! Build!: Helping 1.6 billion get out of substandard housing

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Florida State University‘s campus chapter as they kicked off Act! Speak! Build! Week. (I love that it’s a little piece of the south in Florida. Big trees, lots of older buildings. Perfect.)

Each year the chapter hosts the Seminole Shack Showdown where students from other campus organizations create shacks representing other continents/countries and they camp out all week. Each shack has facts about living and poverty conditions in that part of the world, but all advocate to help the 1.6 billion people living in substandard housing worldwide. (And that doesn’t include the homeless, folks.)

It’s one thing to give up an afternoon to slap some paint on a wall, but these kids were outside for 12+ hours building the shacks and then slept in them all week. I know they probably breaked for showers and naps in the comfort of their dorms or apartments, but I’m always amazed by the commitment of those I get to work with. As fun and easy as college can be sometimes, it really isn’t that easy to give up four nights mid-semester and they do it enthusiastically.

You can do your part, too! Through Saturday more than 130 student groups will lead programs like what FSU did to educate others about substandard housing. If the least amount of time you have is the five seconds after reading this, click on over to BuildLouder to sign Habitat’s petitions for clean water and the SLUM act and act, speak and build with us.