As a company, we’re proud to provide our employees with several opportunities to give back to not only the communities that surround us, but those far from home that may need it even more. This year, Butler/Till’s B Corp humanitarian trip brought us to Taos, New Mexico—a place where 90% of residents cannot afford to buy a home.
Butler/Till sent five employees—Melissa Palmer, Alexandra Camp, Julia Barrett, Jake Allen, and Nicole Fischer— to Taos, New Mexico, where they partnered with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds affordable housing for people in need through the help of volunteers and the future homeowners themselves. While in Taos, the team worked on a variety of projects, but primarily assisted and mastered in the stuccoing process.
Our mission was to help build a house for a single mother, Miriam, and her two young children. As a women-owned company, the project aligned with our company’s values to provide women with as much opportunity as possible—and hit home with our employees both personally and professionally. “Life in Taos looks a lot different than life in Rochester, New York. While the days on-site felt long and the physical work was difficult, I could not have felt more grateful to be there each day,” said Julia Barrett, while Jake Allen added, “Building this home for Miriam and her family has put into perspective just how valuable life is. It is so rewarding to see that not only does the generosity and volunteer culture of the agency spread all the way to New Mexico, but our Butler/Till family now does as well.”
Future Habitat for Humanity homeowners are selected through a competitive applicant process. Those who qualify for receiving a house through Habitat for Humanity must work a minimum of 250 hours of labor on the house themselves plus another 250 sweat equity hours that come from their own family and friends. They are also expected to still pay a mortgage on the house. Once the homeowners are able to move in, this makes the house even more valuable, as every piece of the house that makes it a home, they were a part of. “I think that there’s a lot of stigma around nonprofits handing things out to those in need for free, but Habitat for Humanity is not one of those cases, ” explained Alexandra Camp.
By providing the opportunity to collaborate toward the common goal of empowering homeowners and creating healthy and sustainable communities, Habitat for Humanity is building an organization that not only changes the lives of the homeowners, but those who are part of the process as well. At Butler/Till, we couldn’t be prouder to take part.