November 5, 2020 by Cathy Stack
Students at Summer Creek and Kingwood Park High schools joined forces on a project called "Students Helping Veterans: Big Heroes, Tiny Homes" over the past school year.
The high school’s students and teachers partnered together to create a master-planned tiny home community in the Houston area, for homeless veterans. Generous local community donations helped fund the project. In collaboration with local architects, engineers, and other community partners, the schools design and build homes expected to be 200 to 300 square feet in size. They ultimately want to build a community where veterans can be surrounded by other veteran neighbors who understand and relate to their difficulties and issues when transitioning to civilian life.
As a team, the students attend regular meetings together to work on the design. They are motivated by the purpose behind the project which keeps them focused on the many tasks at hand. With every nail that goes in, they know that they are improving a veteran’s life and providing him a dignified, secure home where he can spend his golden years. “The kids are doing something for someone without any reward except knowing they are doing it for someone,” said Missy Tayler, their proud teacher.
“They wanted to serve their country and protect us, and they come back and they didn't’ get the same treatment,” said senior student Sarah Dalby, describing her motivation to help. She added that when she started the project, she barely knew how to use a saw but she is a fast learner and loves the work. “You have to appreciate the armed forces of our country for giving us the individual liberties that we enjoy," senior student, Nicolas Logan said when explaining his own motivation to participate in the project.
“This is a miracle,” remarked Barbara Lang, a friend of the veteran who was there to provide support. A tiny home is invaluable to those who have nothing. John was clearly thrilled with his new, clean and fully furnished home. “I can get used to it,” he said with a grin.
The students do not view this as a one time endeavor. Their admirable goal is to grow the project, and have it spread to other schools and cities that can replicate this model. They also want to encourage the business community to partner with them to build more houses for more veterans. Ultimately, they strive to solve the problem of veteran homelessness one tiny home and caring heart at a time.
“The students here are just like little angels,” praised Barbara. PassItOn agrees. These young heroes are a great example of the value of caring. Help us celebrate the student’s noble mission by sharing their story of caring for our nation’s honorable veterans.
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