IU, Kelley School and Whirlpool Partnering on Sixth Habitat for Humanity Campus Build in Bloomington

IU, Kelley School and Whirlpool Partnering on Sixth Habitat for Humanity Campus Build in Bloomington

New home being built Sept. 23 to Oct. 3 near IU Memorial Stadium
tweet me:
.@WhirlpoolCorp, @KelleySchool team up on sixth @Habitat_org build: http://whrcorp.co/RZt2a
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 12:30pm

CONTENT: Press Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., September 9, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Nereyda Garza, a single mother of three, has spent many years living in other people’s living rooms. But once her new Habitat for Humanity home being built at Indiana University is complete, she will have her own living room for the first time in her life.

Construction will begin Sept. 23 on Garza’s home, the sixth Habitat for Humanity house being built with a Bloomington family by IU students, faculty, alumni and staff on campus, sponsored by Whirlpool Corp.

For many years, Garza and her children have lived with other family members in crowded apartments and homes. Although she will miss seeing her parents every day, she looks forward to having her own home, with bedrooms for her and her children.

“Sometimes I lie down and wonder what I am going to do without all my kids in my bed,” she said with a laugh.

Since 2010, five Bloomington families have accepted their house keys on the football field at IU's Memorial Stadium, not far from where the houses were built, across 17th Street and near the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center. The Garza family will do so on Oct. 3, before IU’s game against top-ranked Ohio State.

This also is the sixth year that Whirlpool has returned to IU Bloomington to sponsor the blitz build jointly with IU, its Kelley School of Business and Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County.

After the 10-day build, the house will be moved to its final location on the city’s west side the day it is dedicated and the Garzas will receive their keys.

“The Kelley-Whirlpool partnership is about building more than just a house,” said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. “It’s about building meaningful connections between our campus and the people of Bloomington. This build gives one hard-working family a home, and it gives our students, faculty and staff a stronger spirit of community.”

Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene “Idie” Kesner said the continued dedication to this project by Whirlpool is a great example of the kind of commitment and culture of care that Kelley strives to instill in its students.

“We believe that putting your heart and soul into what you do can make all the difference,” said Kesner, who also holds the Frank. P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. “Business can and should be personal, and we mean that not just in terms of business relationships but also relationships within the community. We’re excited to be working with Whirlpool again on a project that means so much to us.”

Originally from Coahuila, Mexico, Garza first came to Bloomington at age 17, when her father moved here to accept a job. She used to work three different jobs to provide for her family, sometimes putting in 18-hour workdays. Now as head of the floral/garden department at a local Kroger, she can focus on one career and spend more time with her family.

She said she plans to plant lots of flowers and a garden and make good use of the new kitchen with her daughter, Julianna, who loves to cook. Big sports fans, her sons Jonathan and Axsel look forward to putting up posters of their favorite baseball and basketball stars.

“I feel blessed to live here in this town,” Garza said. “I used to live in big cities -- San Antonio and Houston -- but, honestly, Bloomington is so amazing. It’s given me a lot, and I’ll always be thankful.”

More than 400 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 15 Kelley and IU campus organizations will volunteer to be part of the build, along with faculty, administrators and alumni, including those now working at Whirlpool. Among them are Chris Ball, general manager for laundry at Whirlpool Corp. and an IU Kelley graduate.

"Over the last 16 years, Whirlpool has partnered with Habitat for Humanity in 40 countries around the world to help more than 85,000 families realize their dream of owning a home, but the real measure of our impact happens one family at a time," Ball said. "We are honored to once again work with IU, the Kelley School of Business, the Bloomington community and Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County to create a home for Nereyda and her family.

“As an employee of Whirlpool and a graduate of the Kelley school, I am looking forward to being part of our sixth campus build and meeting all of the wonderful people who come out every year to build dreams."

Kerry Thomson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, said builds raise awareness about the importance of quality affordable housing in the community. She noted that Garza has worked diligently to make their dream of home ownership a reality. To qualify for a Habitat home, each family must have the ability to pay a zero-interest mortgage and invest at least 250 hours of "sweat equity" or volunteer hours.

“This build shows the incredible effects on a community when a business chooses to embrace corporate citizenship," Thomson said. "Whirlpool continues to astound us with its generosity to low-income families on a global scale, but also with its desire to focus on our own town to change lives.”

Those working on the build from IU will include Fry Scholars and other students in the Business Honors Program, Civic Leadership Development, the Kelley Living Learning Center and the Hutton Honors College.

The build is one of eight Whirlpool-sponsored Habitat builds taking place throughout the United States in 2015 and part of the company's ongoing initiative to donate a range and refrigerator to every new Habitat home in the U.S. The top appliance manufacturer in the world has been a Habitat partner since 1999 and will donate about $5 million in products this year.

Anyone in the IU community can participate in the upcoming campus build. Those interested should contact the Kelley School's Institute for Social Impact program at 812-856-7852 or KISI@indiana.edu