//PICTURED ABOVE: Sarah Crow and Isabella Shadle discuss matters of Habitat for Humanity.
Sarah Crow, the new leader for Habitat for Humanity, will show her passion for this organization by making great strides for the future as she manages the Junior Board. Moreover, she is the youngest person ever to do so.
Sarah Crow worked with funding for the houses that students from the St. Mark’s School of Texas and The Hockaday School built before she started working on the Junior Board in the fall of 2017. She helped manage the different ways of raising money for the houses so that this program could continue in the future. This is her second year on the Junior Board, but now Sarah Crow is the head of it.
“With two St. Mark’s seniors last year, the Junior Board was started as a fundraising and stewardship student group,” Sarah Crow said.
After the construction of the last house was completed in the spring of 2017, at the annual dedication ceremony, Sarah Crow was asked to be a co-head for the 2018-2019 Junior Board along with St. Mark’s junior Charlie Rose.
Last year, after joining the Junior Board, Sarah Crow realized that she could only participate in the fundraising for Habitat, but not building the houses, as the age requirement is 16. She wanted to figure out a way that she and her friends, who were all under 16 years old, could help with the builds. Thus was the inspiration for the Bench Build project.
“By soliciting other freshman and their families, we were able to raise an additional $10,000 to build benches for each of the Habitat houses that had been completed by students over the years,” Sarah Crow said.
Twenty benches were both built and stained by a group of St. Mark’s and Hockaday freshman over the course of two Saturdays in January. Then, they were delivered to previously built houses on their dedication days.
Because of her new creative idea, St. Mark’s alumni Mike Mahowald and William Hall asked Sarah Crow to take their spots as the Junior Board Co-Chair with Rose.
While she is very excited at this opportunity, Sarah Crow also acknowledges the load of work that she needs to accomplish. Over the next two months, she must raise the funds needed for the house-building project, set to take place in January of 2019. Along with the funding, Sarah Crow manages sending out emails and coordinating the emails with the Habitat representatives.
“It’s not a hard job, but it is time consuming,” Sarah Crow said. “The most work is produced when it comes to sending letters that have to go to potential board members and personally having to solicit funds from families.”
Sarah Crow officially took on her position in the summer of 2018, although she participated in brainstorming and logistics meetings last spring.
Kathy Crow, Sarah’s mom, was excited for her to get this job.
“I think she’s a pretty good organizer and has a lot of enthusiasm, so that is a great combination to reach the finish line with the challenges of the Habitat Junior Board,” said Kathy Crow.
Starting personal solicitations for the first time and gauging how this year goes, Sarah Crow plans to continue improving the Junior Board.
“Charlie and I have worked to recruit a group of students interested in supporting the great work of Habitat—to bring affordable home ownership opportunities to low-to-moderate income families and revitalize neighborhoods to build a better Dallas,” Sarah Crow said.
The new focus of the Junior Board is making personal solicitations to previous contributors so that the donors feel appreciated. With this in mind, the board has to focus on communication and showing their appreciation to its donors.
“Definitely the building project is my favorite part,” Sarah Crow said, “It’s fun and social and we have a great time doing the work.”
Part of the reason why her election as co-head of the Junior Board is so momentous is because, for the past few years, only seniors have been the heads of the Junior Board. Senior Isabella Shadle has been an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity for three years. Therefore, she is able to notice the change that is being brought about with Sarah Crow’s new role as co-head.
“I think it’s great that Sarah has been elected to head the teen board for Habitat because it gives the younger community a chance to participate,” Shadle said, “It is also amazing that the younger students are starting to become involved with Habitat.”
Story by Julia Donovan, Staff Writer
Photo by Kate Woodhouse