Tempe, Ariz. — Habitat for Humanity offers a hand up, not a hand out. On March 24, Team U-Haul assisted the nonprofit organization on a sunny Saturday morning at a build site to construct two homes in Tempe. Twenty-two U-Haul volunteers helped further create a Tempe neighborhood for worthy families in need.
“Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona and U-Haul have partnered for several years,” explained Andrea Northup, sponsor relations coordinator for Habitat. “We are appreciative of the in-kind donations of truck rentals, in addition to the work U-Haul Team Members do on volunteer days to help build these homes.”
Volunteers Make the Difference
Each month, U-Haul International offers volunteer opportunities for Team Members. Depending on the charity partner’s needs, the tasks will vary.
“My first involvement with Habitat for Humanity was last fall at a U-Haul volunteer day,” explained Ana Requeno, business analyst for Oxford Life Insurance Company. “When I saw U-Haul was offering another Habitat volunteer day, it was an easy choice. I had to do it again!”
U-Haul enriches the communities in which we do business by assisting charitable organizations that address the most basic human needs: food, clothing and shelter. This has long been the scope of our community outreach because we view mobility as a basic need for every family, and work to keep costs low to meet that need. Co-founded by a WWII Navy veteran in 1945, U-Haul is a proud supporter of many military and veteran groups and causes that provide for these basic needs.
“Volunteers are vital to Habitat for Humanity,” Northup added. “In 2017, we had over 12,000 volunteers who saved us more than $1.2 million in labor costs. Volunteers offer more than just a day of service. They are working alongside families to help build homes.
“At Habitat, we partner with families that fall within the 30-percent to 60-percent area median income, also known as ‘the working poor.’ When companies, like U-Haul, allow their Team Members to volunteer, it keeps the labor costs down so our organization can serve more families in need.”
The City of Tempe awarded Habitat for Humanity a large area of land to build an entire neighborhood for needy families. They hope to build a sense of community for the new residents.
Habitat Homeowner Requirements
The future homeowners must work 400 total hours before they can qualify to move into their new Habitat home. Family members are required to use 100 of those hours at a Habitat ReStore. The thrift stores sell new and gently used building materials, appliances and home furnishings.
The remaining 300 hours are spent building their home, as well as other Habitat homes in the area.
A majority of the families are first-time homeowners. Therefore, mandatory courses are given to teach resident about finances, responsibility and home ownership.
Opening in June
“Volunteering brings joy,” Requeno shared. “The U-Haul volunteer days are great for Team building. They teach us how to work with others and create something bigger than ourselves.”
The two houses U-Haul and Habitat worked on will be ready for their respective families in June.
“We (at Habitat) appreciate the partnership with U-Haul,” Northup said. “We hope that it will only continue to grow. These volunteer days bring people together to build homes, community and hope.”
Thank you to U-Haul Team Members and their family members who assisted: Ronald Beckett, Taniel Bedrosian, Paige Brown, Jo’Von Burleson, Xareja Burleson, Steve Dudley, Eva Franco, Mike Franco, Silvia Hernandez , Jason Herzfled, Gayle Hutchinson, Cole Lockridge, Jeff Lockridge, Rod McDowell, Kat Miles, Courtney Neyra, Cynthia Pettigrew, Ana Requeno, Alonna Ross, Jeff Ross, Nathan Ross and Brittany Wilt.
Did you know U-Haul recently packed 14,000 pounds of food for homeless families around the Valley?