AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron tennis team recently volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Summit County. The squad, which won its first-ever Mid-American Conference championship in May, worked alongside other local volunteers to paint and clean up a newly built home in the Akron area.
"It was a pleasure for our team to have the opportunity to donate time to Habitat for Humanity," second-year UA head coach Brandon Padgett said. "Giving back is extremely important and we had a blast doing so. Often times we forget about the struggles of others as we get caught up in our own difficulties at home and work, but we must take the time to give of ourselves, whenever possible. It is a joy to give, no matter how big or small, and when you have the opportunity to give back with this group of young women by your side, it is truly a blessing."
The tennis program's participation with Habitat for Humanity continued a growing partnership between the organization and Zips Athletics. Members of the athletics department volunteered time on a job site in October and a department-wide service project is being planned for 2012.
To date, Habitat for Humanity of Summit County has built over 160 homes and has housed more than 180 adults and 325 minors.
Those homes are sold on a 20-30 year, zero-interest mortgage to each partner family. The mortgage is paid directly to Habitat in monthly installments creating what is known as the "revolving fund for humanity." The fund helps provide resources to build more houses in Summit County.
Habitat requires each family to complete 250 "sweat equity" hours per adult in the household before moving into their new home. These hours are completed by helping to build their home and the homes of other families in the program, volunteering with other non-profits, and attending homeownership classes held by the affiliate. These classroom sessions are mandatory and provide the new homeowner with training on budgeting, home maintenance, gardening, nutrition, first aid and more.