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Throughout November and early December, Penn’s Habitat for Humanity will be raking in more than just leaves.

Through Rake-a-thon, the group’s annual fundraiser, Habitat members traveled to Philadelphia suburb Chestnut Hill to rake yards for donations.

The event, now in its fifth year, is organized by the Habitat coalition, which includes chapters from Drexel and Temple universities.

Rake-a-thon will take place every weekend from Nov. 14 to Dec. 6, and each day of raking will last for about five hours, according to Penn Habitat Coalition Liaison and College junior Tony Jiang. The donations received through the Rake-a-thon will fund future Penn Habitat projects.

“The Rake-a-thon fundraiser is a way to … establish relationships with people while at the same time having fun and making money,” Jiang said.

According to Penn Habitat co-President Julia Luscombe, a College and Wharton senior, Rake-a-thon is “one of Penn Habitat’s biggest fundraisers.” The event raised over $4,000 last year.

Luscombe, who has been a member of Penn Habitat for four years, also emphasized that Rake-a-thon has become more than just a fundraiser.

“This has become a fall tradition for me,” Luscombe said. “It’s really great to go out and rake a lawn and know that you are going to get a substantial donation that will make a difference.”

According to Jiang, Penn Habitat has also fostered personal relationships with many of the Chestnut Hill homeowners over the past five years. One family even invites rakers to their home for lunch each year.

“It’s an opportunity to connect with the families and homeowners in Chestnut Hill,” said Luscombe, “and not only get donations, but also try to spread the Habitat message.”

She and fellow Penn Habitat co-President and College senior Fonda Chen both stressed that the annual Rake-a-thon is not just for Habitat members. To reach out to the Penn community, Habitat has invited Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity members to participate in the Nov. 21 Rake-a-thon.

“This particular event requires a lot of manpower,” Luscombe said, explaining that Habitat tries to involve students to show that Habitat not only participates in builds — a large part of the group’s efforts involve raising the money that makes future house sponsorships possible.

Jiang agreed that building relationships with fellow students and community members is just as important as the fundraising process.

“It’s really nice to feel like you’re not only having an impact, but a lasting impact,” he said.

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