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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 23, 2008

Photo: Paul Selberg and Nellie Hermanson with the donation check for Habitat for Humanity.

Homecoming Council donates $40,000 to Habitat for Humanity

Homecoming Council at the University of Iowa recently donated $40,000 to Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for Vala Calkins-Kindon and her family.

The council made the donation Saturday, Dec. 13, at a dedication ceremony for the Iowa City home built for Calkins-Kindon, a custodian at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Funds for the donation came from the Homecoming Council and UI student groups, which also built 24 walls for the home. The walls were used to build floats for the UI Homecoming Parade and later used to build the Habitat house.

"Habitat for Humanity staff came up with the dual-purpose wall concept as a fun, yet meaningful way to engage students in a community project that helps a family in need," said Nellie Hermanson of the UI Office of Student Life. The Council incorporated the Habitat for Humanity project into the theme for Homecoming 2008: "The Excitement is Building."

Homecoming has long had a component of philanthropy in the form of a blood donation day and food drive, but this is the first year that the UI Homecoming had an overall philanthropic aspect, said Paul Selberg, Homecoming 2008 assistant executive director.

"We felt that Habitat for Humanity was a very appropriate organization to help, one that really gave back to the community. The Council wanted to make a lasting contribution to the community, something to mark our impact, and that is exactly what the Habitat House represents," he said. "It's nice to have this tangible example of what students can actually do when they set out to help the community." 

Plans have been made to continue the partnership between UI Homecoming and Habitat For Humanity, Selberg added.

For photos of the Habitat home dedication see

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Selberg, Homecoming 2008 assistant executive director,; Nellie Hermanson, UI Office of Student Life, 319-335-3069,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,