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On Veterans Day (Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021), eight Arsenal employees helped construction efforts for t...
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We partnered with eight other companies for KMOV’s Home 4 the Holidays campaign to help Habitat for Humanity St. Louis build a home for a deserving family. Arsenal employees took a full day on their Veterans Day holiday to help build the house. In addition to providing volunteer hours, the credit union made a $5,000 donation to the organization.
On Monday, Nov. 22, the home was dedicated and the homebuyer, Kenneth T., was given the keys.
Habitat for Humanity St. Louis depends on volunteers to help build their homes. While volunteering, we weren’t putting up structural beams, installing plumbing or connecting wires. We helped prepare parts of the house so that skilled tradespeople could easily, quickly and efficiently finish their jobs.
Some of the tasks we performed included cutting and installing siding, preparing floors and cutting vinyl planks for installation and painting exterior pieces of the house.
Most of the work we do at Arsenal takes place at a desk or face-to-face with our members in a cozy building. This was a great opportunity for employees from different departments to get to work together, with their hands, and do something they’d normally never get to.
With more than 355 homes built or rehabbed, Habitat for Humanity St. Louis is one of the largest housing developers in all of St. Louis. One of the biggest misconceptions about the organization is that it gives away houses. Actually, Habitat for Humanity St. Louis provides homebuyers who would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so access to an affordable mortgage. This allows buyers to build their assets and cycle the wealth created by the home to their families and communities for generations.
Homebuyers must also put “sweat equity” into their homes by completing at least 350 hours of work on it (although most buyers complete over 600). They must also give back on future Habitat for Humanity St. Louis projects. Learn more about how this organization empowers people and ends the cycle of poverty on their website.
We asked our employee volunteers what they thought were the most rewarding parts about working on this project with Habitat for Humanity St. Louis. We also asked them if they learned any new construction skills during the day. Here’s what they had to say.
“The most rewarding part about working for Habitat for Humanity St. Louis was knowing that I was helping to prepare a home for someone to call their own. As we were shown around the property, it was evident that a lot of details went into the build to ensure the property met the needs of the future owner. I must say I have a new level of respect for flooring specialists!”
“The most rewarding part of the experience was seeing how fast a project like this can come to life when so many people come together for the common good. I sit at a desk and create marketing materials for my projects all day, so it was very cool getting to work with my hands and seeing the bits and pieces that went into a construction project like this. Also, I didn’t really conquer it, but I came face-to-face with my fear of heights and beat it that day.”
“The most rewarding part was just being able to be there and help Habitat for Humanity St. Louis and experience the process of building a home.”
“The most rewarding part of volunteering was seeing the progress that had been made at the end of the day. It was also nice to do something with my co-workers outside of the credit union. And yes, I actually did learn a little something about vinyl siding that day! I also learned a bit about Habitat for Humanity St. Louis and what they do for our community. It was a great day and I would gladly volunteer to work with them again!”
“It takes many helping hands and big hearts to build a Habitat for Humanity St. Louis home, and it’s a warm feeling to know I and seven co-workers from Arsenal Credit Union contributed in a small but important way on Nov. 11 working with skilled professionals. All of us who volunteered that day can drive by that home in the future and say I helped prep the flooring, cut and install siding and/or paint wood planks. We all made a difference in making this home affordable for a local person who also put in a lot of sweat equity of his own. I’m not a handy person but was taught how to prep a floor and use a floor cutter, and I learned the difference between starter and finisher boards!”
“For me, I just like helping others. I learned how to hang siding, and was getting pretty good at it, too! But I also got to form some close bonds with my co-workers and am thankful that ACU allows us the time to volunteer. It will be exciting to see the completed home!”
“Giving back to the community and helping someone become a homeowner was very rewarding. GREAT team work outside of the office – learned how to lay floating vinyl flooring – even learned how to cut with the tool cutter.”