About 30 students from the Packaging Systems and Design Club and the Society of Renewable Resources partnered for the fifth annual Shack-a- Thon, held outside Squires Student Center last spring. Each year, participating teams build 8-foot- square shacks and live in them for a week while collecting donations for Habitat for Humanity. The sustainable biomaterials team added to their donation total by auctioning off a VT-shaped wine rack, designed and crafted by students in the college’s Wood Enterprise Institute.

According to packaging systems and design major Landon Holbert, a great deal of hard work and dedication went into preparing for the Shack-a- Thon. “About a month before the event, members split into design/construction and fundraising teams,” he said. “The construction team met on weekends and prefabbed everything, with myself, William Bagby, and Chris Schirk spending almost all day and night working to finish the design the night before the event started.”

The team’s shack, made mostly from wooden pallets, was dubbed “The Hobbit Hole.” “We wanted to be unique and realized the hobbit hole theme also fit with packaging’s and sustainable biomaterials’ focuses on sustainability and the use of renewable materials,” Holbert explained.

Holbert said he was happy to put in the effort because it was all for a worthy cause. “Habitat is a special organization in that it affords people the opportunity to donate their time and skills to help provide shelter for the less fortunate. It’s pretty rare that college students have a lot of money to donate, so I think it’s great that Habitat is active on our campus to help facilitate efforts like building homes for families and heading up awesome events like the Shack-a- Thon.”