Entertainment Icon Reba McEntire to Kick Off Whirlpool’s Weeklong Event to Help Eliminate Substandard Housing in Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 1, 2006) – Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity are kicking off the inaugural Whirlpool® Building Blocks project, an initiative created by the company to raise awareness of the affordable housing crisis and to help eliminate substandard housing in the United States. During the week of November 5-10, 2006, Whirlpool, Habitat for Humanity International, Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity and 300 volunteers from around the country will build 10 homes in one Nashville neighborhood.
In subsequent years, Whirlpool® Building Blocks will recognize an outstanding Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States and its relationship with its local community by holding a similar weeklong building blitz. Entertainment icon Reba McEntire will help launch and support the corporation’s first Whirlpool® Building Blocks program.
“Whirlpool® Building Blocks is really about bringing people together from all over the country to build homes in partnership with deserving families,” said Jeff Terry, director, Corporate Commitments for Whirlpool. “If we can help bring people to experience the life-changing work of Habitat for Humanity, hopefully everyone will go back home with an urgency and energy to continue Habitat’s work in their home town and around the country.”
Whirlpool is one of Habitat for Humanity’s largest corporate partners. The company donates a refrigerator and range to every new Habitat for Humanity home built in North America. Every year, thousands of Whirlpool employees volunteer their own time to Habitat builds around the country. The partnership began in 1999, and Whirlpool plans to support every new Habitat home built globally by 2011, either through product donations, cash or home sponsorship. The company is making an additional $1.5 million commitment to fund this year’s build in Nashville.
“The Whirlpool® Building Blocks program is an evolution and addition to a dynamic and long-standing partnership with Whirlpool Corporation,” stated Chris Clarke, senior vice president of Communications for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are so happy to have a partner like Whirlpool that is committed to finding new ways to engage people in the work of Habitat as well as raise awareness and resources to support Habitat families around the world. Through their efforts and passion, they initiated this project which only adds to the generous support they’ve provided to more than 35,000 families since our partnership began.”
The 10 homes in the Whirlpool® Building Blocks project will be built in the Providence Park neighborhood, Nashville’s first all-Habitat subdivision and one of the nation’s largest contiguous all-Habitat communities. Providence Park was started in 2002 by the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity and now has more than 85 Habitat homes. The Whirlpool® Building Blocks project is the largest multi-home build in the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity’s 21-year history.
More than 300 volunteers will descend on Providence Park for the Whirlpool® Building Blocks Project, including 100 Whirlpool employees from across the country, 100 from national Habitat affiliates and 100 representing the Nashville community. From start to finish, the volunteers will raise walls, raise roofs, landscape, paint and perform all other tasks to complete the 10 homes in just a week. Construction of a single Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity home typically takes eight days spread across four weekends.
“Affordable housing is critical to forming stable communities,” said Chris McCarthy, president and chief executive officer of Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity. “The Whirlpool® Building Blocks project will not only help raise awareness of the problem, it’s taking concrete steps to help solve it.”
Reba McEntire first partnered with Habitat for Humanity in Nashville. She sponsored an all-women build in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Whirlpool brought Reba into the partnership with Habitat for Humanity in 2004, to help raise awareness for the work of the organization.
“The Whirlpool® Building Blocks project is an example of organizations and individuals working together to help improve lives in communities all over the country,” said Reba McEntire. “I am honored to be a part of the inaugural event in my home town of Nashville.”
About Whirlpool Corporation
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 .
About Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity
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 quadrupled in size since 2002 and is on track to build a record 50 homes in 2006 – 38 locally and 12 abroad. To receive more information about Nashville Area Habitat, call 615-254-HOME or visit www.habitatnashville.org .
About Habitat for Humanity International
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 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .