UVA Students Again Team Up with the Building Goodness Foundation

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Building Goodness in April volunteer event Building Goodness in April volunteer event
Michael Zablit Michael Zablit
Lisa Campbell-Chicas Lisa Campbell-Chicas
Lauren McRacven Lauren McRacven
Building Goodness in April volunteer event Building Goodness in April volunteer event

A group of students with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business is again giving back to the community by repairing homes for those in need.

The student-run organization Building Goodness in April (BGA) has been doing these spring repairs for more than 25 years. Students raise the money for repairs, and then work with the Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) to line up contractors and find out who needs their help the most.

"We feel fortunate to be in a city like Charlottesville, but we also want to be able to give back to the folks that make the community so special to us. So that’s really the main goal," said BGA Director Michael Zablit.

Volunteers from the foundation nonprofit help organize the spring build.

"It’s a great opportunity for a bunch of local contractors to work with students and to get out and help people in their homes," BGF Organizer Lauren McRacven said.

Lisa Campbell-Chicas’ home was getting some much needed repairs Friday, April 6: "These nice, wonderful people are coming to help make the house a little more safer for us as a family and my almost 78-year-old father," she said.

The students and local contractors are building a new deck, adding brick pavers in the basement, and putting up a fence in the front yard.

"We've definitely got our hands full for one day," said Zablit

In total there are six homes and two nonprofit's getting painting, carpentry, floor and deck work, and overall living condition improvements by the students this year.

Campbell-Chicas is encouraging people to donate to the nonprofit and says the students have inspired her to give back too.

"Hopefully, when my girls get older, they will want to volunteer and help other families as these young college students have helped us," she said.

Organizers say even though Charlottesville is the students' home for a short period of time, their work leaves a lasting imprint on the community.

“Most of us are only here for two years at most, but we feel a very strong connection to the Charlottesville community and just felt like it was a great way to give back in a very satisfying and emotionally energizing way,” BGA Co-Director Davis Willingham said.

The students will be making repairs to another home Saturday, April 7, as long as the weather holds up.