Since Build America was established in 2003, the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi have traveled the US making camps and communities more accessible for people with disabilities. Build America is part of Push America, which is run entirely by the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Pi Kappa Phi is the only college fraternity that has created its own national philanthropy.
Each summer, Build America not only builds accessible structures at camps and in communities, it also makes lasting friendships that far outlive the amenities it builds. In addition, team members raise money to give each camp a major contribution to help with the camp's good work.
This year, the Build America journey started in Ohio and worked its way through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. Before ending at the Capitol in Washington DC, the team raised $73,784, logged over 3,800 miles, worked 6,200 man-hours in construction, saved camps and communities over $40,000 in labor costs, and touched the lives of many people with disabilities.
But the summer wasn’t all about pounding hammers or cutting 2x4s. The best part on this journey happened when team members gathered with campers for dinner and camp activities. This is the time that was most rewarding – when they hung out with the very people who benefit from their construction efforts. Team members got a chance to meet some pretty remarkable individuals who taught them tremendous lessons about perseverance, optimism and love.
The brothers of Pi Kappa Phi believe it is a privilege to serve others, and that there is no better way to spend a summer than this. This book tells the remarkable story of these extraordinary young men and their Build America Summer of 2009.