Members of Tri-State’s environmental team dedicated their Saturday last weekend (Jan. 26) to helping build homes through Habitat for Humanity. Chantell Johnson, senior environmental planner, scheduled the service day last October, in response to the department’s desire to work together as a group on a community service project. “I think people like to give back throughout the year,” Johnson said, “especially by doing things that are physically helpful.”
Eight members of the environmental department and their family members, as well as Agnes Meder from the accounting department and Lauretta Zielke from resource dispatch and marketing, gathered at two home sites near 10th Ave. and Sheridan Blvd. in Denver for a day of volunteering.
The group worked with other volunteers on the homes, completing finish work that included painting, installing baseboard and trim, caulking, finishing door jams and more. “It was a lot of fun for a good cause,” said Kate Willeford, environmental planner. “It was a real atmosphere of teamwork – we were all working toward one goal.”
Those who joined together for the day of service agreed that it helped build comradery within the group and provided a valuable opportunity to give back.
“I brought my son along to help volunteer and it was a great experience for him,” said Chris Gilbreath, water/waste/EMS compliance manager.
Families will move into each of the homes within the coming weeks. Owners of Habitat for Humanity homes are required to complete at least 200 hours of work on their houses and are able to pay back the cost of building them through a zero percent mortgage.
“The large builds happen in the summer and we hope to get a bigger group going then,” said Johnson. “People are interested in doing it again.”
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver was founded by volunteers in 1979 and since then, has built more than 400 homes in the Denver metro area, housing more than 1,800 people. Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is one of the most energy-efficient homebuilders in Colorado, having received the 2011 ENERGY STAR award for Excellence in Affordable Housing.