Gap Partners With Habitat to Reward Volunteers
AMERICUS, Ga., June 27, 2002 - Gap Inc. is partnering with Habitat for Humanity International to help provide affordable homes for families in need. The effort is part of the company’s innovative Community Corps program that recognizes Gap Inc. employees who are committed to volunteering.
For the past three years, Gap Inc. has recognized outstanding employee volunteers by sending them to build houses in underserved communities around the world. Thirty Gap Inc. corporate, field and distribution center employees from the U.S. and Canada will take paid time off work to participate in an Anchorage, Alaska, build June 27 through July 1.
Phet Chanthalangsy, human resources coordinator in Old Navy Distribution, was selected for the Anchorage build because she volunteers about five hours per week as a court appointed advocate for children in Fresno, Calif. “I’m so honored to be part of this Community Corps trip,” Chanthalangsy said. “We’re building a house for a family - that’s a big deal. I don’t know how to build a house, but I’m pretty sure others won’t have a construction background, either. I can’t wait to learn.”
Chanthalangsy and other dedicated Gap Inc. employees will help build a house for Anchorage resident Pao Thao, his wife and seven children, who have been living in a crowded, three-room trailer. “My kids are happy,” Thao said. “They ask, “How long ‘til we move to the new house?’ I tell them ‘soon.’”
Government statistics show 1.5 billion people around the world live in substandard conditions, which endanger their health and/or welfare.
Habitat for Humanity International’s president and founder, Millard Fuller, said he welcomes Gap Inc.’s unique initiative in aiding its employees to help others who are less fortunate. “At Habitat, we applaud Gap Inc.’s efforts in encouraging their employees to reach out to families who need, at a minimum, a safe, decent place to live,” Fuller said.
Recognizing volunteers while helping families is what makes Community Corps unique, said Dotti Hatcher, senior director of Gap Foundation, which is Gap Inc.’s charitable arm. “The program also gives employees the opportunity to work in communities and cultures they may not otherwise experience, with people they would not otherwise get to know. Even in a company as large as Gap Inc., bringing people together for such an important, common cause really builds a sense of camaraderie,” Hatcher said.
“Community Corps was an amazing experience - seeing the faces of a family you’re helping, along with a team of people who you’ve become so close to in just a few days,” said Rex Archibald, a Gap store manager in Reno, Nevada, who participated in a Mexico build in 2001. “It gave me that extra boost to go back to my own community and find even more impactful ways of giving back. Even a year later, that feeling is still with me.”
Gap Inc. has sponsored Community Corps trips with Habitat for Humanity International to Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi and Honduras. Trips planned this year include Alaska, Honduras and El Salvador.
Gap Inc., including Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, is committed to giving back to communities where its employees live and do business. Through Gap Foundation, the company’s charitable arm since 1977, Gap Inc. is especially focused on helping underserved youth. The Foundation looks for innovative ways to partner with nonprofit organizations, and encourages and supports Gap Inc. employees who want to make a difference. For more information, visit http://www.gapinc.com .
For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, visit our website at http://www.habitat.org .
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 120,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.