WSU students donate to tornado victims’ new Habitat for Humanity home

A group of Wright State students donated $500 to Habitat for Humanity to go toward new home for a Trotwood family whose apartment was heavily damaged during the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes.

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The donation went to the purchasing of materials and paying the site manager for a new home for Monica Thomas and her two children. The family’s Trotwood apartment was heavily damaged in the Memorial Day tornadoes in 2019. Thomas works third shift at Miami Valley Hospital North and has volunteered with Habitat.

“Monica is a really special person,” said David Mauch, development director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton. “She’s been through a lot lately. She’s just a real inspiration to us at Habitat.”

Construction on the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home began in January but was stopped in March when the COVID-19 pandemic prevented people from volunteering. Work has recently resumed after volunteers returned under new safety guidelines at the construction site.

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The students are involved in a student service organization on campus called Compassion in Action that strives to donate to a local charity each semester and volunteer monthly.

The student organization raised the money for the home by soliciting donations and holding bake sales and sports tournaments.

Caleb Black, a senior biomedical engineering major and co-founder of Compassion in Action, worked on the home before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped construction. He described the moment of giving Habitat for Humanity the donation with Thomas present as special.

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"You can never really see what that moment's going to be like until it comes and you see her face light up," he said. "She's really excited about getting this house and what it's going to mean for her and her kids."

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