A Highlight on Youth United, Habitat for Humanity’s Youth Group

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Hannah Gunn '23, Science & Technology Editor

Youth United, the youth group for Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County (Habitat CFC), is an excellent way for St. Luke’s community to live up to the SLS mission of “enter to learn, go forth to serve,” by gaining volunteer experience in an area that ties together equity and housing inequality while providing hands-on leadership. 

Volunteers in the youth group ages 12 to 18 from different backgrounds, schools, and organizations in Fairfield County come together to develop leadership skills, engage in positive service activities, and make friends in the broader community. Every student has the opportunity to contribute to Habitat CFC’s mission of providing decent and affordable housing to the lower-income population of coastal Fairfield County. 

During build days coordinated by Youth United, students work directly on construction sites or in the Habitat Wear-house. Every Youth United volunteer has the chance to contribute toward building Habitat CFC homes through their build days. While only students 16 years of age or older are allowed on the build site, younger students help with landscaping, fencing, and painting. 

It is a Youth United Tradition for all members to build and stain bookcases that are donated to new Habitat CFC homeowners. Volunteers always sign the back of each bookcase they make. Students have presented a bookcase filled with gently used books collected through Youth United book drives at every Home Dedication Ceremony since 2011. 

Throughout the year, Youth United fundraises to sponsor a Habitat CFC home and reach out to the community. Past fundraisers have included Hoops for Habitat, a basketball-scoring competition, scrimmage, and a clinic for youth held in Bridgeport that is conducted by former NBA and WNBA players. Since 2005, Youth United has raised enough funds to build five Habitat CFC homes for local families.

 Members of Youth United also have the opportunity to volunteer at the Habitat Stratford Restore on a Saturday once a month, where they run a booth outside the store to sell holiday decorations, crafts made during build days, and other household decorations. 

 Youth United meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm over zoom to plan fundraisers and activities. We are always excited to welcome new members. If you are interested in attending our next meeting or simply want to learn more about Youth United, send an email to @gunnh23[email protected]