300 volunteers from around the country join Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity to build 10 homes for 10 families on one block in Nashville, Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 7, 2006) - Just one day after kicking off of the inaugural Whirlpool® Building Blocks project, an initiative created by the company to raise awareness of the affordable housing crisis and to eliminate substandard housing in the United States, 300 volunteers from around the country have begun building 10 homes for 10 families on one block in Nashville, Tennessee. They’ve also begun building relationships with each other and with the homeowner families, establishing a bond created by the sharing of tools, life stories and the common goal of safe, affordable housing for all people.
“I can’t even describe how exciting this has been,” said Johnny Brown, a Whirlpool employee from Huntington, Ark. “From seeing Reba McEntire take the stage in support of what my company is doing, to meeting people from all around the country who are here to build homes with ten families, it’s emotional. This is my first Habitat build and I’ve never been a part of anything so special. I’m thrilled we’re building homes with these families in such a short time frame, but I’m also really sad because it means we’ll be saying goodbye to everyone at the end of the week. It may be my first Habitat build, but I promise it won’t be my last!”
Building on the 10 homes began yesterday in the Providence Park neighborhood, Nashville’s first all-Habitat subdivision and one of the nation’s largest contiguous all-Habitat communities. Of the 300 participating Whirlpool® Building Blocks volunteers, 100 are Whirlpool volunteers from across the country, 100 are from national Habitat affiliates and 100 represent the local Nashville Area affiliate. The build concludes on November 10 and is the largest multi-home build in the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity’s 22-year history.
“I work with the Habitat affiliate in Spokane, Wash., and I can’t wait to get home and tell everyone about what I’ve experienced here,” said Bill McMillan. “Meeting so many incredible people from so many different parts of the country has been so fun. We’ve already begun making connections and talking about how we energize our own communities so others can get involved. I’m also learning some great construction tricks of the trade from the Nashville leadership team, tips I know my local affiliate will benefit from.”
Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity was chosen as the inaugural affiliate from 1,700 Habitat affiliates across the country. Every year, 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.
“Whirlpool® Building Blocks is as much about people as it is about building homes,” said Jeff Terry, director, Corporate Commitments for Whirlpool. “What happens on a Habitat build site is truly special. People form relationships that last a lifetime. In between hammering nails and hanging siding, you’re learning about people’s families, jobs, struggles and triumphs. Whirlpool® Building Blocks is designed to bring people together, year after year, in city after city, to experience the life-changing work of Habitat for Humanity. Hopefully everyone goes back home with a sense of 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.
“I’ve always believed in affordable housing, but until I met Patrick, one of the Whirlpool® Building Blocks homeowners, I never had a reason to get involved” said Sally Johnson, a Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity volunteer. “Patrick used to be my co-worker in hemophilia health services. He was my right hand man and no one worked as hard, or as long, as Patrick did. I promised him a long time ago that I’d help build his house. For me, Patrick was the human link that did more than just make me passionate about affordable housing, he made me get involved!”
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 for Humanity, 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 .