This may not be your traditional Mennonite “barn-raising.”

Goshen College agreed to help Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that helps build affordable, decent housing for its homeowner partner families, build a house for one of our employees.

Although Habitat for Humanity usually works to raise money for builds with federal loans and donations but recent changes in federal policy have left a $25,000 gap in funds for materials to build Eddie Mayorga’s house.

Since Mayorga and his family had completed most of the 500 volunteer hours required of homeowner partner families, Habitat decided to continue with the scheduled build but have asked Goshen College and Mayorga’s wife’s employer to help raise the rest of the money and help build the house.

The college has until spring break to gather as much money as possible for the construction of the house, which will take place during the break.

Mayorga, a 10-and-a-half-year employee of the college, works in the custodial department. He, his wife and 13-year-old boy will move into the house.

“My family and I are very happy to have a new house for the first time in Goshen,” said Mayorga.

To help raise money for the project, Bill Born, vice president for Student Life, said that three different fundraisers are being planned so far.

The first will be at the men’s basketball game against Huntington on January 10. All of the gate receipts will be donated towards the fund for Mayorga’s house.

The second planned fundraiser will be associated with Kickoff. Student Life will be asking performers and technical staff to consider performing a second night for the community. All funds raised from tickets of this public performance will go towards the house. Students will also be able to make a donation during the regular Kickoff.

Finally, AVI has offered to host a community brunch on Feb. 26 during which money from meal sales will go towards the fundraising effort.

People are also welcome to donate money for the house on their own. Donations can be brought to the Student Life office. Checks need to be made out to Habitat for Humanity.

“If there are any [residence hall] floors, employees or students that have gift-giving as part of the holiday tradition, they’d be welcome to give to this fund as part of their tradition,” said Born.

Instead of the usual spring break service trip to Georgia, typically planned by Tamara Shantz, this year students can serve by staying in Goshen and helping to build the house for Mayorga.

“I would like to thank all of the students, professors, the president, all of Goshen College. I’m going to be so thankful for the help that you’re going to give to me and I hope that God gives you all many blessings for helping my family,” said Mayorga.