During the summer of 2012, 146 employees of the Principal Financial Group® contributed more than 1,000 hours to Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity — building a house — from early construction to the final touches. On Sept. 20, Habitat for Humanity dedicated the house to owners Hussein and Maryan.
The experience was transformational—both for the new homeowners and for The Principal® employees who worked on the house.
In April 2012, the Principal Financial Group announced a $500,000 gift to the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity — helping the organization move closer to its goal of raising $5.75 million for the It Starts at Home Capital Campaign. As part of the gift, The Principal sponsored a home build in the Des Moines metro and actively encouraged employees to volunteer their time to the effort.
“Affordable housing creates stability for children and families and leaves a long-term impact on our local communities,” says Mary O’Keefe, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for The Principal. “Through Habitat for Humanity, our employees can make a real, tangible impact. That’s why our past Habitat projects in Des Moines, Iowa, Grand Island, Neb., and Mason City, Iowa, have been so popular with employees.”
Since working on the project, Principal employee Nathan Samples, client service manager, began volunteering every Saturday—from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.—for Habitat for Humanity. “Giving back to the community has always been important to me,” says Samples. “With Habitat, I can see the results. At the end of the day, I see what’s been accomplished for a needy family in the community.”
Volunteers from The Principal also participated in Rock the Block in the summer of 2012—helping low-income residents with needed home repairs, maintenance, weatherization, safety enhancements, accessibility improvements and beautification. Each Rock the Block event takes place in a neighborhood where major rehabilitation and new construction are already underway or planned for the near future.
The Principal is committed to helping Habitat for Humanity’s dream to help everyone have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.
Our $500,000 gift will support the construction of Habitat for Humanity homes and repairs for five years (through 2016). Our financial and volunteer support will focus in the King Irving and Mondamin Presidential neighborhoods, leveraging efforts and resources to continue revitalization in these neighborhoods.
“Habitat’s focus is about more than houses,” says Lance Henning, Executive Director of the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. “Habitat works in partnership with hard-working families to help them become self-sufficient. With the support of partners like The Principal, we are able to work with families and break the cycle of poverty for the next generation.”
In July and August 2013, nearly 390 employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity through events sponsored by The Principal. Over 200 volunteers took part in Rock The Block and an on-site panel build at the company's headquarters, where employees built the walls for the company's Habitat home. The home was built in 22 days in August and involved nearly 200 employees.
On Nov. 1, we participated in a home dedication for the family who received the house our employees built. The home's recipients - Gopal, Indra and their daughter, Alisha, - a refugee family from Bhutan, were excited and thankful to become homeowners.