Women of Oak Partners use siding skills to serve the community with Habitat for Humanity

Women of Oak Partners use siding skills to serve the community with Habitat for Humanity

The last place a person would expect a team of financial advisors to be on a Thursday morning is a construction site, but that’s exactly where the ladies of Oak Partners, Inc. found themselves on Thursday, May 18.

Oak Partners Participates in Women’s Build 2023

Oak Partners Participates in Women’s Build 2023 24 Photos
Oak Partners Participates in Women’s Build 2023Oak Partners Participates in Women’s Build 2023Oak Partners Participates in Women’s Build 2023Oak Partners Participates in Women’s Build 2023

The 11-person crew from Oak Partners teamed up with seasoned professionals from Habitat for Humanity to install siding on the soon-to-be home of a family in need. The home – located on Riverwalk St. in Lake Station, Indiana – will be a beautiful one-story overlooking a marsh when it is completed.

The ladies from Oak Partners worked as part of a Women Build Day, which was organized by Habitat for Humanity Director of Development and Oak Partners Client Wende Burbridge.

“I have worked with Bridget Shoemaker and Crystal DeHaven and their team for years. Oak Partners is great at giving back to the community, and I've been in other nonprofit positions, so we've just known each other for a while. They were on board with Habitat’s mission, and of course, the theme of homeownership is a good fit with their company, so it happened from there,” Burbridge said.

This is not the first time that Oak Partners has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, however in 2021, the company sponsored a wall-building event in the parking lot of their office where staff, clients, and family members helped build walls that were transported to a project in Gary, Indiana. The wall build was a huge success, and members of the morning’s siding crew were more than happy to lend another hand to a family in need.

Wealth Advisor Bridget Shoemaker attended the wall build in 2021 and was excited to be able to make a difference in the community once again.

“It's a beautiful day. We are happy to be here helping other families and doing something for the local community. It's just great. We have some of the ladies at Oak Partners here today and everybody's just looking forward to working hard,” Shoemaker said.

To help the ladies with their tasks for the day, Habitat for Humanity core volunteers established safety rules and instructed the team on how to cut and install siding. Among the core volunteers was Jeffrey Perz, who has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for the last three years.

Perz is also a client of Oak Partners, so when he heard about the Women Build event, he made sure he was on the schedule.

“I normally volunteer on Thursdays, but I also knew that they were coming today so I wanted to make sure I came and saw some of my friends. It's a fun place to volunteer. There’s a lot of good people and you get to know some of the regulars that come every week and we've become good friends,” Perz said.

The team of core volunteers was eager to assist the ladies in moving equipment and getting them started on the project. Most of the core volunteers have a background in construction or carpentry, so they had plenty of experience and knowledge to share with the women throughout the day.

While Habitat for Humanity sees volunteers of all genders during regular volunteering projects, the Women Build days offer a unique opportunity for a crew of women to take the reins and work as a team. The day was a welcome change of pace for the ladies at Oak Partners, who don’t usually get the chance to spend the day on a construction site during the work week.

Women Build events generally start during the first week of March to celebrate International Women’s Day, but they often continue into October or November. While Habitat for Humanity builds year-round, Burbridge finds herself most busy during the spring, summer, and fall as the weather is ideal for outdoor labor.

Burbridge puts together many events for companies looking to make a difference in the community, and she finds that the staff members involved often tend to build tighter relationships with the people in their company, regardless of what department they are in.

“When companies send out staff and they sponsor a day like a Women Build day, it's an opportunity for people in different departments of the workplace to come in and work together and share an experience that they're probably never going to have otherwise. It's very memorable. 

Before I came to work for Habitat, I would volunteer for it. If I'm in an area where I worked on a house, I still want to drive by and check it out. It's a good feeling that everybody gets to share that together,” Burbridge said.

With the help of experts like Perz and other core volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, the ladies were able to take pride in knowing that they did an excellent job and helped local families get one step closer to moving into their new homes.

To sponsor an event like Women Build Day or to get involved with Habitat for Humanity individually, visit nwihabitat.org.

To learn more about Oak Partners, Inc. visit oakpartners.com.

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