Nashville Habitat for Humanity Selected as first Building Blocks location
Nashville, Tenn. – April 21, 2006 – Habitat for Humanity and Whirlpool Corporation today announced a joint effort to build an entire block of 10 homes in just a week as part of the new “Building Blocks” program. The planned annual event will be hosted for the first time by Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity (NAHFH) and held in a different location each year.
Whirlpool is a partner in Habitat’s work around the world and designed the weeklong build to engage people from around the country to join in the effort to raise awareness about Habitat’s mission and help eliminate substandard housing in the United States. Each year the program will recognize an outstanding U.S. Habitat for Humanity affiliate and its relationship with its local community by holding a weeklong build in the affiliate’s community. Kicking off in Nashville, the program will unite local residents with Whirlpool employees and volunteers from 100 Habitat affiliates. These volunteers will build 10 homes on one block from Nov. 4-11, 2006. Construction of a single Nashville Habitat home typically takes eight days, spread across four weekends.
“Whirlpool has donated a refrigerator and a range to every new home built in North America since 1999 and we wanted to continue our commitment in a way that would bring together local residents and volunteers from around the country in a very personal way,” said Jeff Terry, senior manager of corporate commitment, Whirlpool Corporation. “We selected Nashville as the first location for the Building Blocks program because Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity impressed us with how closely they have worked with local community partners, businesses and local municipalities to bring about positive change in their community.”
“We are deeply grateful that Whirlpool had the confidence in our operation to select us for this effort,” said NAHFH president and CEO Chris McCarthy. “We are thankful for the opportunity and look forward to working with Whirlpool and the more than 300 volunteers to build homes in partnership with 10 deserving families.”
“Habitat for Humanity is a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” said singer and television superstar Reba McEntire, who has helped Whirlpool promote Habitat’s mission for more than three years. “I am proud to be a part of the partnership between Whirlpool and Habitat and appreciate everything these two organizations are doing for the wonderful Nashville community and other communities throughout the world.”
The 10 homes will be built in the Providence Park area, Nashville’s first all-Habitat community and quickly growing into one of the nation’s largest contiguous all-Habitat community. Providence Park was started in 2003 by NAHFH and now has more than 65 Habitat homes, with plans to complete more than 140 homes by the end of 2007. The Building Blocks project will be the largest multi-home build in NAHFH’s 21-year history.
During the build week, business leaders from around the country will participate in a corporate summit to discuss effective corporate social responsibility and developing knowledge among new leaders, Habitat affiliates and their surrounding communities. The build will culminate in home dedications and a Thanksgiving-style luncheon prepared by local chefs for the 10 families and hundreds of volunteers.
Whirlpool is one of Habitat for Humanity International’s largest corporate sponsors and has donated a refrigerator and range to every new Habitat for Humanity home built in North America since 1999. Whirlpool plans to support every new Habitat home built globally by 2011, either through product donations, cash or home sponsorship.
Whirlpool is making an additional $1 million commitment that will be used to build an entire city block of homes in Nashville the week of Nov. 4-10, 2006. In addition to the Building Blocks event, Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity will continue their affiliation with McEntire in sponsoring, for the third straight year, her “Key to the Heart” concert series in Las Vegas to benefit Habitat.
Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion, more than 80,000 employees, and more than 60 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com .
Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that provides families with the life-changing opportunity to purchase a decent, affordable home. The agency has tripled in size since 2002 and closed its 2005 fiscal year with a record number of homes built (30). Qualifying families for the Habitat program purchase their homes at cost (usually $75,000-85,000) and repay the mortgage with no interest over a 20-30 year period. Additionally, families are required to accumulate "sweat equity" hours, earned through HomeWORKS classes, build site time, and community work or volunteering in some other aspect of Habitat operations, such as the Habitat HomeStores. The NAHFH HomeWORKS program provides hundreds of hours of classes for partner families on budgeting, credit management, mortgage finance, and home maintenance. These classes build each individual’s leadership, citizenship and life skills. To request an application or to receive more information about Habitat, call 615-254-HOME or visit www.habitatnashville.org . Major funding for Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity is provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, The Memorial Foundation, The HCA Foundation, The David and Sarah Ingram Advised Fund, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the LP Foundation.
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .