Cooley Ann Arbor's Phi Alpha Delta lends community a helping hand

By Tammy Redman

Cooley Ann Arbor Student

Cooley--Ann Arbor's 1st chartered fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International, fulfilled its first service project with Huron Valley's Habitat for Humanity on the last Saturday in June. This was a humbling experience for many in our chapter as nearly twenty of us worked for 8 hours, with just a lunch break in between, as homebuilders.

It turned out to be a cool summer day, and thank goodness! It was not too warm, but there was plenty of sunshine--nothing would stop of us from doing what we had set out to do that morning at eight o'clock sharp. Our mission was to build a house and the overall project was a great success!

As explained by our foreman, Andy, the house was one of the first two-story homes Habitat for Humanity has started to build in southeastern Michigan. It boasts 4 bedrooms and 2 baths with a sizeable tool shed in its backyard. By the end of our day, we had painted the entire shed and many planks of wood to go along with that.

We measured, sawed, and nailed several pieces of siding until we had covered a good portion of the home.

Neighbors stopped by expressing their contentment to see the once empty lot developing into a dwelling. They seemed to look forward to the project's completion and the prospect of new neighbors.

Andy was also satisfied with the work we had done and extended an open invitation to the members of the Wertman Chapter to assist with more tasks in the future, whether as a group or individually.

According to our Service Chair, Amelia Thompson-Martin, it is safe to say that we just might take him up on that offer. For Phi Alpha Delta, the success was not only apparent when our supervising foreman communicated his approval of our work, or when neighbors stopped by to express their appreciation for the time we spent there, but the triumph was obvious throughout the day. The real victory came with us bonding as members of the same law fraternity. Chapter Justice, Ada Nwaneri, commented on how cool it looked to drive down the street and see all the people in purple P.A.D. t-shirts working towards a common goal.

I know just what she means. You would be amazed by the connections that are made while holding a ladder for someone. You could not help but to see the faith shown by one member to the other as they assisted each other in mounting and dismounting the heightened scaffolds. You would not believe the trust that is forged when holding a piece of siding while someone else is hammering near your fingers.

The camaraderie displayed between members as they became experts in sawing perfect "factory end" cuts could not be ignored.

In building up the Ann Arbor community, we laid more foundation for our own community. With service projects like this planned for each term, we can be certain that our fraternity will continue to grow just as that neighborhood has grown. And just as the neighborhood looks forward to welcoming its new members, we embrace our new additions as well.

In fact, the fraternity has initiated more than 10 new members since this project took place.

Published: Mon, Sep 12, 2011


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