Student volunteers build and donate a house

After painting, landscaping and siding other houses for 216 hours, a single parent is ready to begin building her own home.

Olga Samano is the recipient of this year’s FrogHouse, a home built primarily by TCU volunteers.

Prior to closing on her home, Samano must complete 300 hours dedicated to the construction of an area Habitat for Humanity project, said Diane Wolfe, media relations coordinator for Trinity Habitat for Humanity.

“As of last Saturday, I have 84 hours left,” Samano said.

Samano, who was chosen from a list of applicants to receive a house by Trinity Habitat for Humanity in November, will throw the ceremonial first pitch for TCU’s season-opener against Cal State Fullerton today, Wolfe said.

“Friday will be my first experience actually building a house,” said Samano, who plans to continue building after she reaches her 300 hours.

Samano’s homesite is about two miles southeast of TCU, said Jared Cobb, assistant director of TCU Transitions.

Trinity Habitat for Humanity chooses the homeowner and homesite and sends professionals and trained volunteers to oversee the building project and help FrogHouse volunteers with the construction of the home, said Eric Tabone, executive director of FrogHouse and a senior finance/real estate major.

Labor is free, but house payments are made by the homeowner, Wolfe said.

FrogHouse volunteers consist primarily of juniors, because it is their class project to act as responsible citizens, Tabone said.

Tabone said TCU’s mission statement is broken down into four parts to create a project for all four classes – the freshmen to educate individuals, the sophomores to act as ethical leaders, the juniors to focus on responsible citizenship and the seniors to apply its previous goals to the global community.

This year’s FrogHouse class of 2009 raised $41,000 for building expenses, the most money in the organization’s three-year history for the project, Tabone said.

“For a junior class and college students to get together to work on fundraising and then raise that much money is pretty miraculous,” Cobb said.

The money was raised in a variety of ways, but came mainly from parents, previous donors and alumni, Tabone said.

FrogHouse shifts are scheduled for every Friday and Saturday until April 19 and during Spring Break to complete Samano’s house in time for the dedication April 26, Cobb said.

“Friday (is) a day to honor Samano and celebrate the amount of money the junior class raised,” Cobb said.