After several years of struggling, the Habitat for Humanity Chapter at The University of Tennessee is once again actively involved with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, thanks to new leadership.
David Grueser, president of the University of Tennessee’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, has made a valuable impact on the campus and in the Knoxville community. He is a junior, majoring in civil engineering, from Dyersburg, Tennessee.
David decided to become involved with the campus chapter because his father was a strong believer in the Habitat for Humanity program and its mission. He started with the organization last year and his first build was in November 2010. The previous president was graduating in a few months and the position became open. David had a job off campus and was also a residence assistant so he wasn’t sure if he would have the time of commit to such a large task.
“After praying a little more and thinking a little less, I came to the conclusion that I don’t have to wait until I’m out of college to start making a difference in someone’s life," said David. "This is one organization I believe in, and do not want to see go defunct.”
David’s passion for the organization landed him the role as President this past March and really enjoys being a part of Habitat for Humanity on campus.
“I honestly enjoy the members so much. Even from just hanging out in the meetings and talking with them; they are all so selfless and seeing these people come together is very heartening.”
There are 76 registered members in the chapter and, although they have meetings regularly, many of the students have also been able to work on actual builds through Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.
The partnership the campus chapter has with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity is so special to David and his fellow students. He appreciates their graciousness and admires their similar passion for the Habitat for Humanity program. He credits vice president Jaylin Gardner, secretary Sam Gosey, treasurer Andrew Ford and adviser Nick Gordon for the reason the club has taken off.
"(The leadership group) is what has been pressing this club forward. All three of the students leaders know their jobs and do what it takes to get it done," said David. "It is an absolute breeze working with all of them."
David has many goals and aspirations for the young but motivated organization. He believes in quality over quantity outreach and wants to truly touch the lives of individuals in the Knoxville area. He wants the chapter to focus on homeowners with each build and do as much as the group can do to better each family’s life.
Currently, the campus chapter of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity is partnering with Nourish International to put on a "Mud Run" next spring to raise money. They have already raised $740 in the fall semester and hope to continue to raise money to support Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.