“We were assisting with a house that had already been built but had fallen into dis repair,” he said. “It was really cool because we got a real sense of the culture. When you do service, I think it ties you to the place. It was a good cultural and philanthropic experience.”
No matter what, the New Salisbury, Ind., native stays involved with Habitat. He has assisted with smaller builds in Evansville and as a freshman went on a mission trip to Panama City, Fla., where Avery helped out at a thrift shop. He said there is a lot more poverty there than people think.
“There have been so many times someone has helped me,” he said. “And whenever I see someone in a bad situation, I just think, ‘How would I feel? What would I want in that situation?’”
A large part of what prompts Avery is his faith, and friends said in everything he does, he brings the acceptance and welcoming love of God. Since others have helped him through tough times, he believes in giving back.
“Because of faith, I know no matter what I’m facing, I am called to love others unconditionally and it drives how philanthropic I am,” he said.
Another organization Avery has devoted time to is Greek Intervarsity, a group that blends Greek life and faith. Graduate student Samantha Mackey said the organization is a big part of who Avery is, and as a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, he takes things he loves — interacting with people and his love of God — and brings them together. “That was something he immediately wanted to be involved in,” she said. “He purposely goes out to show love.”
Senior Jake Ball said his fraternity brother is always looking for ways to help out. With Sig Ep, Avery has participated in UE Gives Back. He is also an orientation leader and a member of the Ballroom Dancing Club, which hopes to work with the Glenwood Leadership Academy this semester to teach the children how to dance since it is a way to build confidence and improve self-esteem. Avery also volunteered last fall at Deaconess Hospital.
“He’s so willing to put his thoughts and prayers behind others,” said Megan King, assistant director of campus programs. “Chace is always wanting to do whatever he can in his power to help you.”
The project Avery is currently organizing is Habitat’s “Barn Blitz,” a 48-hour event where teams will come together in shifts and build 25 barns and sheds. While Habitat usually builds homes, Avery said this time they needed help with barns and sheds to accompany many of the homes they have built. This will be the first time that a Barn Blitz has taken place in the United States and Avery is excited about it.
“It’s right up his caring alley,” King said. “He’s always looking for ways to better his community, himself, his friends.”
Avery is in charge of finding team leaders who would help volunteers form into teams and guide them through the building. While Habitat took care of setting up their side of things, Avery is helping to find the volunteers and planning the event. Along with Holly Carter, director of Education Abroad, who is soliciting faculty and staff to work alongside students, the build is set for April 7.
“We saw the need and [are making] it happen,” he said.
The biochemistry major said he always tries to remember something Mari Pli kuhn, associate professor of sociology, once said — that people are like M&Ms. The outsides may be different, but we are all the same on the inside.
“There is more substance to a person than what’s on the outside,” Avery said. “And just because of what you see of a person on the outside, that’s not what’s on the inside.”