BNP Media employees were greeted by nothing more than a foundation and floor base on their first day of work on a BNP Media-sponsored Habitat for Humanity house in Detroit this past June. On the first day of work, volunteers raised the walls, installed trusses and roof boards, and framed the inside walls of the new house. By the end of the build five days later, BNP members had finished adding fixtures and flooring, doors and windows, and all manner of construction materials to complete the house on schedule.
Now the home of Efrain and Damaris Guevara and their five children, the house was one of 31 erected as part of Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project in Detroit's Core City/Thurgood Marshall neighborhood June 17-24. Known as a Blitz Build, the annual project takes place in a single location and results in the construction of a large volume of homes in just one week. Low-income families receive the houses by committing to no-interest loans and providing hundreds of hours of work on their home and other Habitat structures.
According to Tim Fausch, publishing director of BNP's Plumbing Group, "The Habitat organizers ran the project with great precision, our volunteers worked with amazing commitment, and the Guevaras represented the ideal family that everyone wanted to help."
Surely to stick in volunteers' memories, on June 23 former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn visited the new house to shake hands and present a signed Bible to the Guevara family. For lunch that day, the BNP Media crew sat down to a Puerto Rican-style meal home-cooked by the Guevaras. "It was an exhausting but very rewarding week," said Donna Edwards of BNP's research department. "The memories and friendships I made there will stay with me always."
Katie Zarrilli, a BNP Media administrative assistant, shared the sentiments. "I was touched by the thankfulness of the house family," Zarrilli noted. "I was grateful to have played a small part in this."
More than 50 BNP Media staff members, including those from the Architecture & Construction and Plumbing divisions, worked building the Habitat house during a week's time. BNP Media is the corporate parent of TILE Magazine and National Floor Trends .