Habitat for Humanity & YAL at Virginia Tech

In Spring Semester of 2014, Young Americans for Liberty at Virginia Tech entered the “Shack-A-Thon” competition hosted by Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a private, non-profit organization devoted to building simple and affordable housing for the homeless.


Shack-A-Thon is a seven-day event wherein different campus organizations build and man their own shacks in the middle of campus in order to raise money and awareness for Habitat. Organizations had to have at least two members living and fundraising out of the shack at all times throughout the week.

Young Americans for Liberty was competing with Epsilon Sigma Alpha service fraternity, VT Rugby, and the Forestry Club. Each club was expected to supply their own building materials and submit building proposals. YAL@VT got the majority of their materials from the Habitat Restore in Christiansburg.

On April 13, building day began! YAL had members hammering, drilling, lifting, and painting from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Towards the end of the build, groups took a break to speak over the microphone and introduce their clubs. We learned more about Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley and their plan for a potential build this next semester, using the funds raised during Shack-A-Thon.


We are Young Americans for Liberty at Virginia Tech. We are currently the most active political group on campus. We advocate personal liberty through peaceful and voluntary exchanges between peoples. This includes private charity; we are happy and feel honored to work side by side with Habitat for Humanity. — Ian Cunningham (Marketing Coordinator)

 After Freedom Castle was finally completed, the first shift proceeded to move in air mattresses and sleeping bags in preparation for the first night’s stay. Late in the night, however, it became apparent that most of the members wouldn’t be going anywhere – we were having too much fun!

This set the pace for the rest of the week. YAL consistently had the most members living and fundraising out of the shack at all times.

Throughout the week, between fundraising, YAL members got into many discussions with students and faculty about civil and economic liberty. YAL ended up raising $1,400. Together, with the other groups, and a generous fund-matching donor, the entire fundraiser came out to more than $7,000 towards a new build.

Overall, it was a very successful event. YAL gained club publicity, increased member unity, and served a noble cause — all while having a blast the entire time!

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