Employees volunteer for Habitat for Humanity builds
August 6, 2009
Thirty-five Corban employees gave a total of 105 hours toward two houses for Habitat for Humanity in Southeast Salem Tuesday morning. Not only did future homeowners, the Ceja and Gonzalez families, benefit, but Corban’s staff and faculty are also more invested in volunteering since the project.
Instigator and coordinator of the event was Deleen Wills, Director of Alumni Services. “Our students come from all over the U.S., and some internationally, but our employees mostly live in Salem. It was a natural fit for us.”
Director for Corban Accelerated Online, Joany Haws, spent the morning shoveling gravel. She said, “When I saw Deleen’s email, I knew it was these houses near where I live, and I wanted to help.”
Wills also said Corban wanted to reach out to the community as part of celebrating 40 years as neighbors in Salem. The college moved to Salem from El Cerrito, Calif., in the fall of 1969.
LouJean Fobert, Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity, said, “It was a pleasure to have the folks from Corban come out. We got a lot done that morning, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”
Corban employees provided both skilled and unskilled labor at the site. One team dug trenches and another hauled rock and gravel. Others secured trusses, installed windows, put roof sheathing on, and laid pipe. A participator in building a retaining wall, Provost Matt Lucas said, “I have built rock walls for every house I’ve been in.”
“We’re part of this community,” he continued. “There’s a sense of ownership for what Salem should be. I’m responsible for contributing.”
Wills relayed her inspiration for the event: “I have always admired what Habitat does locally, nationally and internationally for worthy, hard-working families. Tamra Taylor, our Food Services Director and employee of ARAMARK, volunteers on a regular basis and invited me to a wall-raising in June. Now I’m hooked on helping.”
Habitat honored Taylor at Tuesday’s worksite with a certificate and a red hat, signifying she is a “task assistant” who can guide volunteers on all future builds. Taylor was welcomed to the Red Hat Crew after successfully completing the HabiClass program, a resource designed to train both community members and Habitat families to be effective tool operators and homebuilders. Taylor says working with the Ceja family on their home, as they express their gratefulness, has touched her heart.More corporate volunteer events will be in Corban’s future, says Wills, and more employees are considering serving regularly with Habitat for Humanity. Daren Milionis, Director of Student Support, said, “I’ve been thinking about Habitat but never took the initiative to be involved before. Now it’s happening.”
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
503-375-7005 | firstname.lastname@example.org