Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing for families in need.  While looking on its Web site this afternoon, I came across many interesting story ideas that we could cover as a class.

Still photos/plain text stories:

  1. How to volunteer – I thought it would be useful for some people to simply find out how to get involved and what opportunities are available.  I know my parents have always wanted to join a project, but they’ve never actually gone through the process.  If people are presented with multiple avenues for getting involved such as time, money donations, etc., they may be more willing to help.  Since this story is more of a “how-to,”  I think plain text would suffice.  There aren’t a lot of illustration opportunities that go along with it.
  2. Help with Haiti – Since January, Habitat for Humanity has been collecting money and aiding in the relief efforts in Haiti.  I think it’d be interesting to write about what kind of difference volunteers have made and to tell others how they can help with that project.  Donations are still being accepted.  Like the above story, this works best with just plain text since it would be mainly historical/instructional.  However, a few still photos of the Haiti earthquake aftermath would be effective as well.
  3. The families – Lastly, I think a story profiling one (or more) of the families that have been given housing from this organization would be a great story.  People like human interest stories that they can relate to.  Additionally, people like stories about overcoming obstacles, and this would be both.  I think plain text would work well with a few photos of the families and their new home.  The story could also include information about how to volunteer a family.

Audio/visual stories:

  1. Megan’s Meadow – Megan’s Meadow is an upcoming project that Habitat is working on in Pacific, Wash.  The volunteers want to build single-family housing units that are LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  I think it would be cool to do a video interview with a couple of architects and designers to find out exactly what being LEED certified entails (why is it better for the environment, what’s the difference in cost, etc).  A video interview would be more interesting for the “reader”.  Lengthy scientific explanations in written form can be difficult to get through.  A lot more organizations, including the University of Washington, are taking advantage of this new design trend.
  2. High Point Phase 2B – Habitat is currently constructing duplexes and two single-family homes in West Seattle in High Point.  I think it would be neat to do an audio slideshow of the construction progress (start with framing, to siding, painting, etc).  The “reader” could see the whole project from start to finish through photos and learn about the process through voiceover narration.  Showing the progress would be more difficult with video.
  3. Rainier Vista Phase C – Similarly to High Point, I think an audio slideshow would be neat to do with the homes being built in Rainier Valley so the “reader” could actually see the construction process.  Readers would be impressed and may be more apt to volunteer.

Photo credit (Fair use): http://www.fortressfinancialsolutions.com/attachments/Image/Charity%20Habitat%20for%20Humanity%20of%20South%20King%20County.jpg