Cisco Volunteers Build New Home for Texas Disaster Victims

Cisco Volunteers Build New Home for Texas Disaster Victims

by Beth Kolman

Homeowner Gloria Alamos and Cisco employee Dan Weaver, who attended every volunteer build except one.

Cisco volunteers in front of the home they helped build for Gloria Alamos and her family

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.@CiscoCSR #Volunteers and @Habitat_org Build New Home for Texas Disaster Victims #disasterrelief
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 6:35am

Employees from Cisco’s Richardson, Texas campus were pleased to attend a dedication on July 21 for the new owners of the Habitat for Humanity house that Cisco funded in West, Texas.

You may remember back in April 2013, a fertilizer plant exploded in West, killing 15 people and injuring more than 300. A nursing home, apartment complex, schools, and private homes were destroyed.

At the dedication this week, new homeowner Gloria Alamos and her daughter Breanna accepted the keys to the house that Cisco volunteers spent 551 hours working on for 6 months. This was the first Habitat for Humanity house funded following the fertilizer plant explosion, and Cisco was the first corporation to contact Waco Habitat for Humanity about the rebuilding process within 48 hours of the blast.

Although West is a good 90-minute drive from Richardson, about 70 employees made the trek through rain, snow, sleet, and hail to build the house. One employee, Dan Weaver, participated in every volunteer build except one.

“It means so much to me that Cisco and its employees were willing to help me with this beautiful home for me and my daughter,” said homeowner Gloria Alamos. “No one in my family has ever owned their own home, and I’m so happy I can show them that it can be done. I plan to pass this house down to my daughter.”

Gloria purchased the home at cost through a zero-interest mortgage, after having invested at least 300 hours of sweat equity by helping with construction.

The Cisco volunteers even managed to recruit another worker – Erik, the bus driver we hired to bring us all to West for the builds. After the first build, Erik started coming with an extra set of clothes so he could help the Cisco employees work on the house.  He was so impressed with the work that Cisco was doing for the homeowner that he said he had to help.

Cisco’s relationship with Habitat for Humanity dates back to the 1990s, and has included participation not only in employee volunteerism through builds, but also through cash grants and vendor partnerships. Since 1998 Cisco has partnered with Habitat affiliates in 111 U.S. cities and 52 international locations. Cisco and Habitat for Humanity share a mutual focus to provide shelter and disaster relief to save lives and restore communities.

See how Cisco employees around the world support their communities through donations and volunteerism.