Raising the rafters for Habitat for Humanity

Camping out to benefit Habitat for Humanity were, from the left, Taylor Sherman, Chandler Olinkiewicz, Lea Giambruno, Keri Ann Mahoney, Wyatt Brigham, Corrine Mahoney, Jillian Calabro, Lisa Kaasik and Macklin Lang.

Braving cold weather for a good cause were members of Shelter Island School’s National Honor Society, along with other students, who joined the Cardboard Box Camp Out on the school grounds the night before Election Day.

Each camper pledged a minimum of $100 raised from friends, family and businesses on the Island to benefit Habitat for Humanity. The money earns the students a “build day” with Habitat so they can experience directly how their money is being put to work to provide housing for families in need. Sixteen students  — nine National Honor Society members and seven other juniors and seniors — participated and raised more than $1,700, according to National Honor Society advisor, Janine Mahoney. Donations were still coming in at press time, she said.

Because it was a very cold night, the students didn’t get a lot of sleep, but spent their time huddled around a burn barrel for warmth. By 3 a.m., according to Ms. Mahoney, one student said, “I can really appreciate what it’s like not to have a home.”

Donations can still be sent to Shelter Island High School National Honor Society, Box 2015, Shelter Island, NY 11964 or delivered to the reception desk in the school lobby. Checks should be made payable to Habitat for Humanity, which offers those who get the houses “a hand up — not a hand out,” Ms. Mahoney said. Families who benefit must be gainfully employed and meet income requirements. They must be debt free, attend financial fitness classes and provide hours of “sweat equity” helping to build Habitat houses.