Celebrating the upcoming holidays on a tight budget can be challenging, especially for a family preparing to purchase their first home through Habitat for Humanity. Saving towards a down payment and spending time off completing required “sweat equity” hours may mean having to cut back on holiday purchases. However, for one local Habitat partner this year’s holidays are looking a lot brighter thanks to the generosity of UL Lafayette’s chapter of the financial information professionals’ honor society, Beta Alpha Psi.
The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi’s 300+ campus chapters is to encourage and recognize scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. Members participate in service and professional activities, and one of the ULL chapter’s main service projects includes choosing a family in Lafayette Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program and surprising them with a gift of food for the upcoming holidays. However, this year when the group heard that one of Habitat’s prospective homeowners had recently lost her wallet, which contained cash she had saved for her down payment, they chose to go the extra mile.
In addition to boxes of groceries, the organization has also raised money to purchase gifts for the family of three, including a restaurant gift card, a dollhouse and a Nintendo DS. Vice President of Service Activities Alexandra Dardar says seeing the family’s faces when they receive these gifts will be the most rewarding thing. “I think it’s the perfect time to give back to the community because it is a time that is really about giving, not receiving. We love working with Lafayette Habitat because we believe in their whole mission. If we can donate our time in a way that helps them, it makes us feel like we’re doing something for the community.”
Along with their holiday donations, Beta Alpha Psi members also volunteer time every semester on Lafayette Habitat’s construction sites to support the organization’s mission of ending poverty housing in Acadiana. They are looking forward to personally helping build the family’s home next semester, but they’ll have a more immediate impact with this week’s gifts. “I hope it takes some stress off of the mom and allows them to have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Dardar. “We hope that this will help her not to have to worry so much about finances so that she can just focus on spending time with her family.”