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URI Habitat for Humanity hopes to break high five world record

By Audrey O'Neil
On October 16, 2012

Students at the University of Rhode Island are joining together to help end poverty housing in the world.

Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate poverty housing from the world and to make decent shelters a matter of conscience and action. The University of Rhode Island chapter of the organization works with the local affiliate, South County Habitat for Humanity, to help with this.

The organization involves both students and staff members who are interested in volunteering to make a difference.  The URI chapter not only focuses on building, but they also are involved with on campus events, such as Homecoming Weekend.

This Homecoming Weekend, the organization along with representatives from South County Habitat, the Panhellic Association, and the Interfraternity Council plan on breaking a world record. The members hope to break the Guiness World Record for the number of high fives by an individual in one hour.  The goal is to high five Rhody the Ram more than 2,500 times in one hour Saturday before the Homecoming football game.

Communicative disorders major, Julia Garrick, is the president of the URI student chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

"We are hosting this event to raise money for South County Habitat but also to raise awareness about the importance of what we do and make it fun and engaging at the same time," Garrick said. "This is the first ever attempt we've made at breaking a world record and also the first time using the high five idea, It is open to everyone in the community and we are very excited."

The event will be held in Keaney Gymnasium on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m., and will be open to all students. Students who are interested in participating can register online at Limited edition foam fingers will be sold around campus for $5 in the next coming weeks and all of the money made goes towards SCH and the building homes campaign.

"What will be most important is for students to show up the day of the event so we can ensure we'll have [more than] 2,500 people high fiving Rhody the Ram," Garrick said. "Buy some and tell your friends, family [foam fingers] and professors. Bring your foam fingers to the event and the game and show your spirit on homecoming weekend."

Students are also encouraged by Habitat for Humanity to get involved with the URI Chapter, sign up for weekend builds on Old North Road, located at the top of the URI campus, and to volunteer at SCH ReStore.

"This event would not be possible without the efforts of PANHEL and IFC, especially Steve Simo the coordinator of Student Life and Greek Affairs, and Gina Mainella the Habitat PR Intern, women's volleyball head coach Bob Schneck, Lynn Baker-Dooley and also Jerry Sidio and Sarah Miller," Garrick said.

Garrick hopes to continue to help and live by the URI chapter's mission.

"My goals for URI Habitat for Humanity is that we can continue our mission and truly understand what it means and how we are to live by it. I want our group to stay as active and engaged as possible," Garrick said. "We have many ideas for this year, just a few being on campus clean up, visiting soup kitchens and collaborating with homeless shelters. I hope that every student feels welcome to join our group, ask questions, or simply stop by our office room 316 [in the Memorial Union] and our email is"

The organization meets every Monday at 6 p.m., in Room 318 of Memorial Union.

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