This project is special to us because we’re appreciative of the sacrifices active duty servicemen and women, and veterans have made to protect our country and freedom.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Jan. 25, 2017) – Mercury Insurance partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for veterans in Santa Clarita. Twenty-one Mercury Insurance employees joined veterans and Habitat for Humanity in Santa Clarita on Saturday, January 14 to help build the third and final phase of a 78-home neighborhood that’s exclusively for veterans and their families. This was the first of six Habitat for Humanity builds that Mercury (NYSE: MCY) will participate in throughout 2017.
“Mercury has partnered with different Habitat for Humanity affiliates for the past three years,” said Liz Romero, Mercury’s senior employee relations specialist. “This project is special to us because we’re appreciative of the sacrifices active duty servicemen and women, and veterans have made to protect our country and freedom. Our founder, George Joseph, served in World War II as a B-17 navigator and many of our employees are veterans or have family members who are currently serving, so we think it’s important to show our appreciation.”
The Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys veteran community is located in Santa Clarita across from the Child & Family Center (21545 Centre Point Parkway). The homes come in two styles:
- A 1,450 sq. ft. one-story model with three bedrooms and two bathrooms; and
- A 1,650 sq. ft. two-story model with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
All homes include two-car garages, washer and dryer hookups, tankless water heaters and solar panels.
“To see people coming out on a Saturday to turn concrete into a dream gives me a lot of hope,” said Mark Johnson, retired Army veteran and father of three, who will join the community this year. “I really appreciate all that Mercury’s volunteers did at the build site.”
The community is an Enriched Neighborhood® Model and is supported by a number of wellness facilities for PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, financial literacy classes, social services, programs to reintegrate veterans back into their families and communities, and more. It also features:
- An urban community garden;
- A Disney park for children, with slides that are built into the hillsides;
- A fruit tree grove;
- A sports court; and
- A green area with drought-resistant grass.
All of the community’s amenities were installed by volunteers.
“The sacrifices veterans make are huge, which is why we are determined to give them a place to call home,” said Donielle De Leon, Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys Director of Corporate and Community Engagement. “These homes can only happen when companies like Mercury Insurance make financial contributions and their employees come out and put their brawn behind the finances to build homes for our veterans.”
Mercury employees were thrilled to work with Habitat for Humanity. Chris O’Rourke, Mercury’s vice president of property claims, said “Volunteering for a Habitat for Humanity build has always been on my bucket list. It’s great to get to work as a team and spend time with my colleagues. The icing on the cake was meeting some of the people who will receive homes in this community and working side by side with them.”
Edward Chin, Mercury’s regional manager for material damage, brought his two sons ages 16 and 20 to the build and said “We planned for this event for some time. It’s our goal to volunteer more and having my sons participate was really important. I want them to learn at a young age to give back to the community.”
Sara Makeever, who volunteered alongside her wife Cheryl Makeever, Mercury claims specialist II, celebrated her birthday at the build and said “I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday weekend.”
The next Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys build in which Mercury employees will participate is scheduled for Saturday, January 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
About Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV
The mission of Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV is to build affordable homes for low-income civilian and veteran families, and provide services that empower them to build brighter futures as homeowners. Through our Enriched Neighborhood® Model, which was developed by our sister agency Homes for Families, and piloted by Habitat SF/SCV, we couple affordable home ownership for veterans with wraparound services that include: Credit Counseling, Financial Literacy Classes, Trauma-Informed Art and Music Workshops, Equine Therapy, Employment & Life Skills, Parenting Skills, a Mentorship program, tutoring, educational programming for military children, and more. By partnering with reputable and generous organizations such as Mercury Insurance, we are able to exponentially have a greater impact on the lives of the people we serve.
About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.
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