Each spring, Assurant Atlanta employees pick up hammers, wield nail guns and donate sweat equity to build a house in just eight workdays. It’s not a reality show, but a community partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta.
For eight consecutive Thursdays, Assurant employees step outside of their day jobs to build a home from the ground up. Assurant offers employees eight hours of paid time off to volunteer for charitable causes. Assurant employees throughout the organization participate in Habitat for Humanity builds across the country.
“Partnering with Habitat for Humanity is a natural fit for us at Assurant,” said Shawn Kahle, executive director, Assurant Foundation and vice president, corporate communications, Assurant. “Our company helps people protect what’s important, and there’s not much more important than a safe, secure home. About 200 employees volunteer each year, and we always have enough to fulfill our commitment.”
Assurant employees volunteered over the course of eight consecutive Thursdays to help construct a home with NW Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. The houses have three to four bedrooms, two baths and are created using green building practices. Experienced construction volunteers and Habitat employees guided the effort.
While employees provide the manpower, the Assurant Foundation-- the charitable arm of Assurant--covers the costs of materials. This two-pronged approach results in what Habitat refers to as a “full house” or “whole house” donation.
“This is the 13th house Assurant has worked on with us - the 11th ‘whole house’ they have built in this community in as many years,” said David McGinnis, president and CEO of NW Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. “Assurant is an exemplary corporate citizen and their volunteers demonstrate an extraordinary work ethic. Such commitment to supporting affordable housing is admirable.”
No experience is needed for employees to participate. “Habitat does a wonderful job of making these projects safe for volunteers with no construction background,” said Bob Byrd, senior director of communications, Assurant Specialty Property, who has worked on three houses. “We work with very experienced contractors and seasoned Habitat volunteer leaders.”
NW Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity requires each new homeowner to put in 300 hours of sweat equity - 100 hours on another family’s house, then 100 hours on their home and 100 hours in Living Smart™ classes that teach home maintenance, repair, budgeting and financial literacy.
Assurant employee and Habitat volunteer Tony Young added, “I enjoy giving back to the community, and working with Habitat for Humanity gives our whole team a sense of pride. To see the progress on the home from week to week is incredible. Not only do we provide a family with a new home, it personally makes me feel like I can accomplish anything.”
Visit the NW Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity website to learn more about the organization.