Students build home for UK employee




By Courtney Quinn

The Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and UK Habitat for Humanity chapter teamed up Saturday and Sunday to begin constructing a house.

UK students have raised more than $42,500 to complete this Habitat for Humanity home for UK staff member DaShanda Player and her three children.

The construction of the home took place in the parking lot of Commonwealth Stadium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The students began building wall components for the house that will be moved to 745 Breathitt Ave. on World Habitat Day.

Player and her oldest daughter, Robneisha, helped build and direct the volunteers with the framework for the house.

“My grandmother wanted to be a homeowner, and I am the first person in the family to be a homeowner thanks to Habitat for Humanity,” Player said.

She made a phone call to the group last year to see if she was qualified and began its classes in March. She is employed in the Health Science building.

Resource Development Director Dana Stefaniak is responsible for fundraising, communication and volunteer efforts. She has worked for Habitat the past three years and enjoyed every minute of it.

“We are so grateful the Habitat campus chapter, IFC and Panhellenic have joined together to help Shanda and her family transition into affordable homeownership,” Stefaniak said.

Dan Wavering, president of UK’s Habitat chapter, helped build the framework for the house as well. Fraternities and sororities took part in the construction by volunteering their time in two-hour shifts.

Josh Duckworth, a member of Farmhouse fraternity, helped with the framework on Saturday.

“This is a good program,” Duckworth said. “I feel like I have accomplished a lot today, and it is great making a family’s dream come true.”

Brian Hancock, Habitat’s volunteer coordinator, who also is an editor at the Kernel, was in charge of advertising and making students aware of the construction of Player’s house.

“I’m here because I value the work Habitat does, as a student at UK and resident in Lexington,” Hancock said. “It is a positive, tangible way to give back to the community.”

Monday is World Habitat Day, a day to raise awareness about poverty housing and promote for decent housing for all.

“We hope to have the house completely finished before Thanksgiving,” Stefaniak said.

Related article: UK’s Habitat for Humanity will begin construction framework at Commonwealth