Monday, April 6, 2009

Building Goodness in April

Building Goodness in April, or BGIA as it is known here is something that attracted my interest since before I came to Darden, when I was deciding between schools and was reading about it on the Dean's blog. It is an amazing thing when contractors, students and local shops all partner together with the Building Goodness Foundation and volunteer to renovate around 10 homes of low income and/or disabled families in the Charlottesville/Albemarle community. It is a genuine gesture of giving, and it is extremely rewarding.

A lot of planning is required in order to accomplish so much in just one day and it is student led.
It starts with the inspection of homes finding the best candidates for projects. It is followed by a fundraiser where we all auction all sorts of stuff from golf lessons and 5 course meals through hotel rooms or a cabin in Vermont to pole dancing lessons or a self affirming evening with two students accompanied by a keg.

This year we collected $45,000. Local businesses donate goods, cash and services as well.
We targeted 10 homes and built 2 playgrounds.
Each house is assigned 3 house captains (yours truely was one) that oversee the planning of the work to be done on the house, the interaction with the residents, coordination of the professional workers, purchasing and collecting the materials, driving 16-24 ft. trucks and organizing volunteers.

On build day, 165 Darden students and 100 contractors charge the houses and do their thing.

It's a reall challenge, but we've had some amazing accomplishments on build day. We have given back to the community that is hosting us for these two years and there is nothing that can compare to the feeling we got seeing the expression of our home's residents come back to their new home.

I have had the opportunity to work with great people this build day - the contractors and my classmates who did the most amazing job and accomplished incredible things.

TV news coverage:

Last year GMAC visited us during Build Day:

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Hi Oren,

As you may have seen this weekend, your blog has been nominated for consideration in this year's Clear Admit Best of Blogging awards. Congratulations! If this is news to you, feel free to visit the nominee announcement post at for a bit more information.

By design, the BoB results are based largely on the input of the nominees themselves, so we'd would love to have your opinion as we compile the ranking. To receive your ballot simply contact us at Ballots are due by April 24th, so don't delay!

Feedback Form