Over the last two weeks of September, more than 400 Indiana University undergraduate and graduate students along with faculty, administrators and alumni volunteered to help the Wyatt family build their new home. Whirlpool Corporation was happy to work side-by-side with IU and Habitat for Humanity for the 7th consecutive year to make a difference in the community, and especially for a deserving family.
Jim Peters, EVP and Chief Financial Officer was among the volunteers, and at the dedication ceremony stated, “We’re honored to take part in making homes affordable for families across the U.S. by providing a range and a refrigerator to every Habitat home built since 1999. That adds up to about 170,000 appliances for nearly 87,000 families in the U.S. alone.”
The Wyatt family has been dreaming of owning a “clean, safe home” for over three years, when they became permanent custodians of their granddaughters, Keelahlah (age 7) and Kyla (age 3). Their small, 506-square-foot apartment was drafty and cramped and in poor repair, with no safe space for the girls to play. Whirlpool volunteer Theresa Dunten described the girls’ joy over their new home. “The little girls were so excited for their new house that they had to give me two tours after we had finished building it…and show me where all their forts will be! Seeing them so happy and excited melted my heart.” Keelahlah proudly showed off her new home in another impromptu tour.
Among the volunteers were ten Whirlpool employees, both IU and MSU alumni, who spent a day or two at the home construction site and working with student volunteers from the Kelley School of Business, which afforded an opportunity to talk about Whirlpool career opportunities.
“[Whirlpool’s] partnership with Monroe County Habitat and with the Kelley School of Business is a natural one because they have long recruited top business school students right out of Kelley,” says Kerry Thomson, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County. The CEO, CFO, and the lead manager for one of Whirlpool’s businesses are all alums of the Kelley School. At the home dedication on the IU campus, Jim Peters said, “We salute Habitat for Humanity for taking the lead on affordable housing and we salute IU for engaging tomorrow’s leaders in this important effort. I’m just guessing a few of those will also be future Whirlpool leaders!”