Entertainment icon Reba McEntire helps welcome nine families into new homes
PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 18, 2007) — Roofs, walls and hearts were lifted as Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity partnered with local families to construct nine new homes in five days as part of the second annual Whirlpool Building Blocks® project. Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity will officially dedicate the homes on Friday in Guadalupe, Ariz., where nine new Habitat for Humanity partner families will be presented with house keys and Bibles. The ceremonies will begin at 11:30 a.m. and entertainment icon Reba McEntire, a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity, will be on hand to welcome home the partner families.
Whirlpool, Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun, Habitat for Humanity International and nearly 300 volunteers from around the country began construction on the nine homes on May 14. The Whirlpool® Building Blocks initiative was created by the company to raise awareness of the affordable housing crisis and to help eliminate substandard housing in the United States.
“This is a life-changing experience for both the volunteers and new homeowners,” said Tony Chang, general manager, Whirlpool Brand. “A community was changed for the better this week and we are so grateful to all for their hard work and compassion.”
The Whirlpool® Building Blocks homes were built on a recently donated piece of land in Guadalupe, a small community located between Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz. Roughly 300 volunteers traveled to the Phoenix metropolitan area for the Whirlpool® Building Blocks project, including Whirlpool employees and volunteers from across the United States. From start to finish, the workers raised walls and roofs, landscaped, painted, and performed all other tasks to complete the nine homes in just five days.
“Whirlpool® Building Blocks is about bringing people together from all over the country to build homes in partnership with families in need,” said Chang. “Our goal is to get people to experience the life-changing work of Habitat for Humanity and to create urgency and energy among consumers to join us to help eliminate poverty housing in this country.”
“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.”
Whirlpool is one of Habitat for Humanity’s largest corporate partners. The company donates a range and ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerator 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 inaugural Whirlpool® Building Blocks project began in November 2006 in Nashville, Tenn., where 300 volunteers from every state joined forces to build homes with 10 partner families in one week.
“Whirlpool’s response to our desire to offer simple and decent housing to the residents of Guadalupe is a remarkable testament to their corporate values,” said Christine Odom, CEO for Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun. “We are very fortunate today to celebrate Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity’s dedication with nine new homeowners.”
Each 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.
“The Whirlpool® Building Blocks project is an amazing example of organizations and individuals working together to help improve lives in communities all over the country,” said Reba McEntire. “We kicked off this program in my hometown of Nashville, and I’m honored today to help the newest homeowners in Guadalupe achieve their dreams.”
Reba McEntire first partnered with Habitat for Humanity in Nashville. She sponsored Women Builds in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Whirlpool invited Reba into the partnership with Habitat for Humanity in 2004, to help raise awareness for the work of the organization.
For more information about this year’s build, visit www.whirlpool.com/buildingblocks .
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $18 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 Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun
Serving metropolitan Phoenix since 1987, Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun is a grassroots ecumenical housing organization whose mission is to eliminate substandard housing. The mission is to build affordable housing and community partnerships that promote spiritual values and individual responsibility. The Valley of the Sun affiliate is one of the most active of the Habitat affiliates and is responsible for the building of more than 400 new homes. Currently the affiliate is active in South Phoenix, as well as Apache Junction, Chandler, Glendale, Guadalupe, Mesa and Tempe. Additional information is available at http://www.habitataz.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 .