Habitat hosts first-ever 60K day

The campus community is coming together to raise the money.

by Meghan O'Connor


The University of Minnesota’s Habitat for Humanity chapter is gearing up its first 60K Day, a 24-hour fundraiser this Thursday.

Volunteers stationed at Coffman Union plaza will be clamoring to raise $60,000 — the cost to sponsor a Habitat home in south Minneapolis.

After applying for a Habitat home three times, Kadra Musse, her husband Noor Ahmed and their five children will receive the home in south Minneapolis.

Musse has lived in the same building since she immigrated to Minneapolis from Somalia in 2000. First, she shared a two-bedroom apartment with four other family members. Then, after she had twins, the family of seven moved into a larger three-bedroom apartment. 

Musse will be the first person in her family to own her own home — recipients of Habitat homes work in collaboration with the nonprofit organization to build their houses and make regular mortgage payments, like any other homeowner.

Across campus, nearly 60 student groups made fundraising pledges to contribute to the cause, including 42 fraternities and sororities.

Every organization under the 60K Day umbrella gets to create fundraisers to raise the money. The Asian American Student Union hosted a dodgeball tournament March 30 with 100 percent of the earnings going toward their pledge of $1,000.

To reach its pledge of $100, the University’s Ad Club teamed up with Chilly Billy’s on April 4. Ten percent of the proceeds from purchases at the frozen yogurt shop went to the pledge that night.

The greek community is trying to raise $500 for each Spring Jam pairing — a group of fraternities and sororities working together during the week’s greek competitions. Overall, they have pledged to raise $5,000.

For 24 hours starting at midnight Thursday, donations will be accepted through Razoo, an online fundraising forum. Donations can also be made in person outside of Coffman Union from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 “The main message is to engage the entire community,” Habitat for Humanity President Mike Resman said. “On such a large campus it can get separated with all of the departments doing their own thing, so this is one day to get everyone working together for one cause and one goal.”

Resman was looking for a way to incorporate community camaraderie throughout the campus. Spring Jam is the only event that has really brought everyone together until now, he said.

A steering committee of nine representatives from various student organizations and two faculty members was created to help plan the event.

The amount of information that is interchanged between the committee is immense, said Kyle Fulton, president of the Communication Studies Association and a member of the 60K Day steering committee.

“Every day I wake up with emails from 4 in the morning … I don’t think any of us sleep,” he said.

LeeAnn Melin, the director of Undergraduate Student Initiatives, helped get organizations involved with the event. She contacted student boards and staff to spread the word about 60K Day.

“But I think a lot of people underestimate the power of student-to-student contact. It was the students that really got this event rolling.”

DJ Carter, MTV’s spring break DJ and a Minnesota local, will perform at noon on the Coffman plaza.

“It’s fun to get a name like DJ Carter into the program when it’s for such a great cause,” Fulton said.

Following the performance by DJ Carter, speeches will be made by University President Eric Kaler, MSA President Lizzy Shay and Susan Haigh, president of Habitat for Humanity in the Twin Cities.

Each person who makes a donation will receive an “I donated” sticker.  Businesses around campus are providing promotions for those wearing the sticker, and the University of

Minnesota Bookstore will give a 25 percent discount on clothing if a sticker is presented.