The process of building a home for a family in need typically takes the Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity about a year. But with the help of Aflac employees, contractors and partners, one new house was completed and made move-in ready within a month. Hundreds of volunteers from the insurance company teamed up with the nonprofit organization to complete Aflac's eighth house in its hometown of Columbus, Ga., in September.
"Aflac gets a lot of benefits from partnering with Habitat for Humanity," says Francine Medley, volunteer coordinator at Aflac. "Our employees, first of all, love to come out and volunteer. We had over 12,000 hours of volunteerism last year, and we love to give back to the community however we can."
A Habitat partner family must meet three criteria to qualify for a home: a need for housing, the ability to pay a monthly mortgage, and a willingness to put in 500 hours of sweat equity. The family moving into a Habitat house agrees to be part of the Habitat Partner Family for as long as they own the house.
Because Habitat for Humanity uses the model of volunteer labor, they're able to build a house for far less than the price of a comparable residence, and sell it to the homeowner for the amount it costs to build. Habitat doesn't make a profit on the home; they rely on volunteers to make the model work.
"Aflac's core mission is helping families when they need it most, and that's what we're doing here with Habitat for Humanity and with this family, just like Aflac does for everybody," says Medley. "When you're hurt, we're there, and we're here now helping this family build this house."
Learn more about Aflac’s commitment to the community at aflac.com.
[Brinkley Pound] Affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges that we have in any community. The habitat model is simple. We use volunteer labor, and good quality construction to build a simple, decent, affordable home. But because we use the model of using volunteer labor, we are able to build a house for less than it would actually cost. And then able to sell it to the homeowner for exactly what it cost us to build it. We do not make a profit on the home. An Aflac build works like no other build that Habitat does, and that is, this home is built in a month. It normally takes about a year. This week they're building their eighth house for Habitat. A Habitat Partner Family has to meet three criteria to be considered for home ownership. The first is they have to have a need for decent housing. The second criteria is the ability to pay a monthly mortgage. The third thing is the willingness to partner. The homeowner has to agree to put in 500 hours of sweat equity toward home ownership, and agree to be a part of the Habitat Partner Family for as long as they are a homeowner.
[Francine Medley] Aflac gets a lot of benefits about partnering with Habitat for Humanity. Our employees, first of all, love to come out and volunteer. We had over 12,000 hours of volunteerism last year. And we love to give back to the community however we can. They also will come back on dedication day when we dedicate the house, which is the day we give the homeowner the keys. We have a big celebration for all the people that had worked on it are invited to come back. And it's a huge, huge day for the homeowner.
[Nitasya Roland] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
[Michael Hope] Anybody can do it. You don't have to be able to lift heavy. You don't have to be able to run any type of machinery or anything. You just have to come out here with a good heart and a positive attitude, and be willing to help where you're needed.
[Nitasya Roland] I'm very excited. My children are excited. We take the long route just to drive by everyday just to see the improvement that has been made on the house. The first thing that we're going to do is have a birthday party for my second oldest son, and then a Thanksgiving dinner, because it will be our first Thanksgiving in our home. It's a blessing. I consider it a blessing.
[Francine Medley] So Aflac's core mission is helping families when they need it most, and that's what we are doing here with Habitat for Humanity, and with this family. That we're able to help them when they need it most, just like Aflac does for everybody. When you're hurt, you need help, we're there, and we're here now helping build this house.