Students raise money, help build Habitat house in Kaukauna

A group of students from 7 Fox Valley area high schools build a Habitat for Humanity House, June 2, 2014. (WLUK/Chad Doran)

KAUKAUNA – Some area high school students are helping a family in Kaukauna build a home from the ground up.

And we’re not just talking about construction.

Students from seven area high schools also helped raise the money to build the home for Bee and Gaosheng Thao.

“It feels really good to know that we are giving back and that it is just us group of students giving back,” said Appleton West High School student Pierce Moriarty.

Just a group of high school students with a goal and a will to succeed.

“We’re all similar kids with similar goals and it’s actually been really easy to come together,” said Appleton North High School student Kitt Richards.

And these students aren’t just getting their hands and shoes dirty at the construction site.

“Honestly we just started out trying to raise a little bit here and a little bit there and once you get the ball rolling it just all adds up and here we are today,” said Neenah High School student Nick Munce.

Their work began months ago raising the $75,000 need to build the house. The students used a variety of fundraisers, including a drive-in movie at Neenah High School last month. An effort that more than surpassed their goal.

“We’re at $104,750 right now which is really just tremendous support from the community and that was really a victory for us just knowing that we had the support of the community behind our back on this project,” said Richards.

And the new home’s owners are also appreciative of the student’s efforts.

“I say thank you to all the high school students for their time and their hard work,” said Gaosheng Thao.

For the students, the lessons learned go beyond framing and fundraising.

“Whether it’s building a house or raising money or really doing anything, as long as we are willing to put the time and effort into it, we can do it,” said Richards.

The ceremony to hand over the keys to the new owners is scheduled for mid-August. Right before the senior students who worked on the project head off to college.