Investing the development of the local communities in which we live and work is a priority for our company. Across the globe employees volunteer their time to help bring safety, vitality and resources to the neighborhoods that surround our facilities. In doing so, we play a part in making a positive impact and a stronger community.
Recently employees at two facilities in North America gave their time and talent to support the efforts of their local Habitat for Humanity chapters. Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that works to provide access to safe affordable homes, transforming neighborhoods one home at a time.
Houston GDC Supports Habitat for Humanity
On August 20, a steamy hot Saturday, employees at the Global Distribution Center in Houston, Pennsylvania came together to help with the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home. Working alongside the future homeowner and other volunteers from the area, employees applied roofing shingles, soffit, fascia and insulation boarding in the basement.
Diverse in the professional backgrounds as well as their experience in helping Habitat, the group of employees included Rob Forrester-Warehouser and Teamster’s Union Steward, Joe Comfort-Buyer, Matt Hunnell-Regional Controller, David Ledbetter-Human Resources Manager and Machi Simon-Product Fulfillment Director who was joined by her husband Marc Simon.
This year marked Machi Simon’s second build. She was so inspired by her first that she now serves on Habitat governing board and works with future homeowners to help them through the process of owning a home. “Volunteering at Habitat gives me the opportunity to help hard working people to achieve their American dream who may not otherwise. Habitat doesn't simply give, it changes people's lives” shared Simon.
Rob, Joe, Dave and Matt worked as a team, focused on the roof for the better part of the morning. “It was rewarding to work to help my community and this new build is not far from the neighborhood where I live” shared Rob Forrester. Experiencing his first Habitat Build, Joe Comfort said he would definitely do it again.
Milwaukee Builds Two Homes
In September over 80 employees from throughout Greater Milwaukee came out in full force to build two homes from the ground up over the span of a week. The homes are located in the Washington Park neighborhood which is just minutes from the National Avenue facility. It is a neighborhood that many of our employees grew up in and it is a neighborhood focused on growth.
Throughout the build week employees had the opportunity to work alongside the new homeowners, learning more about each homeowners’ journey. Kay Starkey, Machinery Factory Project Manager-Quality, Lean, worked alongside Tiana.
“I really enjoyed working with Tiana. She worked very hard and had a positive attitude. We discussed her job as a dispatcher in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and how she enjoyed being in the Washington Park Community. During the Blitz Build week, she worked on her house during the day and at her job on third shift. She was appreciative of our help, and I could see her commitment and the ‘sweat equity’ for her house.”
Starkey went on to add, “It is terrific that we are a sponsor for this worthwhile charity in both a financial and work time aspect. As an employee, I appreciate their commitment to helping improve the Washington Park community. I was impressed with the statistics that showed how home ownership in this community has decreased crime. Our sponsorship of Habitat presented me the chance to give back to a community located near our company. I also believe that this Blitz Build is beneficial in other ways—it is a good opportunity for us to meet other employees.”
Our partnership started with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity in 1995 with a more concentrated effort launched in 2011. The expanded partnership includes not only the investment of thousands of employee volunteer hours but employee contributions through a workplace giving campaign. In addition, our valued suppliers have been supporting the organization at an annual golf tournament which raised over $65,000 this past August. In total, since 1995, we have sponsored the build of 22 homes and raised and contributed over $1.15 million.