Strack and Van Til’s latest contribution to the community could be heard before it was seen. The drum of a score of hammers vibrated vehicles as they drove passed on 41. Those that looked for the sound found a crowd of people building walls in a corporate parking lot.
The walls were for Habitat for Humanity. Sixty people from the Strack and Van Til staff, their family, and their friends signed up to learn a little bit about construction and to do some good for someone in need.
Binish Humayoun, Strack and Van Til’s Administrator for the Loss Prevention Department, was one of the many strapping an apron of nails around her waist.
“I really like giving back to the community,” Humayoun said, “And taking part in a good cause. Someone in need will have something that they can afford. It represents something good about Strack’s as well- Strack’s is everywhere. It is good to know they give back.”
Helping the community has always been a tenet of the family oriented company. The Wall Building project was more hands on than their monthly fundraisers usually are. It is the kick off to future events they will be doing in honor of Hometown Days all throughout October. They wanted it to bring the Strack and Van Til community together.
“It gives everyone an opportunity to serve others,” said Ashleigh Marlow, the Public Relations and Centralized Orientation Specialist for the company. “It feels good to help a family in need. Plus we’re learning a bit about how to build a home. You don’t get that opportunity every day.”
Habitat for Humanity will unite the walls in Gary, to continue building a home for a family that has yet to be chosen.
Their program gives mortgages to people who may not be able to qualify for a conventional option. The loan is financed through Habitat for Humanity instead of a bank, and charges zero interest. The home will be part of a subdivision of exclusively Habitat for Humanity homes. They are adding revenue to the city’s tax bracket and creating a safe space for people to live.
Strack and Van Til Vice President Chris Bengtson is on the Habitat for Humanity board of directors so he knows firsthand the need for volunteers and assistance.
“It’s super important, as a company, to provide volunteer opportunities for our associates. We’re not a one way organization; we have many in the community that support us. It’s not just a take relationship, you have to give as well.”
Strack and Van Til supplied the lumber, the volunteers, and the labor.
“From our standpoint they are a non profit,” said Dan Klein, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity. “They are involved in the community all over Northwest Indiana. Without volunteers and businesses that support us, it would be much harder to get people into homes.”