Anixter Team Volunteers at Habitat for Humanity Carter Work Project in Indiana
Four Anixter employees—Doug DeKeyser, Jennifer Spees, John Crawford and Sharon Collyer—recently returned from a week of volunteering at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in South Bend, Indiana, August 26-31. The Anixter team worked on house 18 with a group of approximately 30 people, including the future homeowner, Dionysia, a single mother with a young son.
The Anixter team joined 2,000 volunteers who worked alongside President and Mrs. Carter, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and future Habitat for Humanity homeowners to build or improve 41 homes in Mishawaka and South Bend. The event is an annual home-building blitz organized by Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates, and it alternates between the United States and an international location.
The Anixter team before the start of day one. Left to right: John Crawford, Sharon Collyer, Jennifer Spees and Doug DeKeyser.
“The Carter Work Project was a very inspiring and rewarding experience. We got to work with so many wonderful people, including our own Anixter colleagues. Not only did we learn construction skills and techniques, but we also learned how Habitat for Humanity helps people get a hand up and not a hand out,” said John Crawford, a member of Anixter’s environmental product compliance team in Glenview, Illinois.
In under a week, house 18 went from a slab of concrete to a house with siding, a roof and two porches. The inside of the house had the interior studs.
What a difference a week makes—from Monday morning (left) to Friday afternoon (right).
The Carter Work Project was established in 1984. Since then, more than 100,000 volunteers have participated in the U.S. and countries including Canada, Haiti, Thailand and India. Although they are both over 90 years old, President and Mrs. Carter continue to participate at each Carter Work Project.
Sharon Collyer, director of purchasing for Anixter in Woodbury, New York, had been on other Habitat builds before, but said the Carter build was unlike anything she had experienced before. “I feel so lucky to have been chosen for the Carter Work Project. The excitement that comes along with this project is infectious–they’ve deemed it ‘Habititus.’ Although the days are long—starting well before sunrise—and the work is tough, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
Jennifer Spees, a sales representative for Anixter in Atlanta, Georgia, added, “My favorite part of the week was working with so many different people and meeting the Anixter team. I was proud to wear my Anixter Cares shirt, and explain how our company allows us to make a difference! We are very lucky to work for a company that values giving back to our communities.”
The future homeowners with the Carters, the Anixter team and the entire house 18 build group.