On Friday, October 21, 2022, our Configio team spent the day volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in honor of the annual Community Brands Give Back Day, an initiative where all employees are encouraged to spend time giving back to their communities through a day of service.

Our team of nine helped with organizing their assigned building site in Deer Park, WA. If you’ve ever been to a construction site, you know how critical organization is to the success of the project. Lenny Wolf, Quality Assurance Engineer for Configio, said,“While it may not seem exciting, the build site managers were exceptionally thankful we were able to help as a team. They were dreading organizing the trailers and said the trailers were essentially non-usable in the state they were in, so they desperately needed our help.”

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and renovating decent, affordable housing in all 50 U.S. states and more than 70 other countries. From their website: “A decent home provides the strength, stability, and independence that families need, and Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Our group split up into two teams: One team of three worked on one trailer, while another team of three worked on a second trailer. Three of us also dug a 4-foot hole used to place a temporary power pole that will be used to supply power to the house that is currently being constructed.

According to Habitat, in 2021, 4.2 million people were able to secure decent, affordable housing, and an additional 8.5 million people now have the potential to improve their housing conditions through a range of services. It takes approximately 1,350 volunteer hours to build one home and the organization is dependent on volunteers and financial support to make it happen. They stress that it’s a partnership, not a giveaway — homeowner families invest their own labor, too.

“Our Give Back Day is extremely valuable in so many ways,” said Wolf. “Our team gets to work together in person helping our local community members. It’s always exciting to arrive on-site and learn about what we will be doing that day to help. It’s very rewarding knowing that we played a role in helping families achieve stability and their dream of having a structure of their own to call home each day.”

This is the fifth consecutive year we’ve chosen to work with Habitat for Humanity. We are so proud to have helped construct hundreds of homes (and counting!) and we’re thankful for the great relationship with the onsite manager, Jonathan.

Here are a few notes from the other team members, who all said they enjoyed their time together onsite. Ryan Batterton was also on the volunteer team!

Teri Ziegler: “I really enjoy our Habitat for Humanity workdays because it allows our local team time to build relationships and connections while offering service to others. This is especially important now that we work remotely.”

Jeff Holden: “I felt a great deal of satisfaction helping an organization that helps others reach their goal of home ownership.”

Michael Utt: “My favorite part about volunteering was being able to talk with everyone while doing something productive. I don’t get to talk to Bill much, but he was teaching me a lot of things about construction I didn’t know so I even feel smarter than I did before volunteering.”

Ben Balzarini: “I really enjoy working with my hands and building things. The fact that we get to work together as a team and are helping build a home for a family that needs one is one of the most rewarding experiences I can think of.”

Ted Stuhlmiller: “It is great to keep going back to volunteer with an organization enough times that their workers remember us and look forward to working with us each year.”

Dale Reed: “I enjoy volunteering for Habitat for Humanity because it is a program that helps low-income families get into an affordable home by requiring them to put forth effort and time into the build of their own home before becoming eligible to purchase the home.”

Bill Bland: “I find volunteering opportunities like this to be the best; you get to see the impact it makes on your neighbors’ and communities’ lives. Habitat for Humanity embodies the right mix of community and personal ‘ownership’ making a worthy cause to myself and a strong partner to any community.”