Habitat for humanity
Unilever employees from NJ and CT learn true meaning of "sweat equity" as they volunteer and build new home for deserving family.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. -- Dozens of Unilever employees volunteered today to help build a house for a deserving family in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity in Paterson. This effort is part of Unilever's sponsorship of a home and marks Unilever's Habitat for Humanity Month 2005 - "Helping Hands Building Brighter Futures," during which more than two hundred Unilever employees worked at the site, October 17-28.
"Giving back to our local communities has always been a proud hallmark of Unilever. For more than seven years, we have remained committed to Habitat for Humanity in Paterson," stated Lauren La Bruno Casamento, Manager, Communications and Habitat Project Leader for Unilever. "We are proud to help build brighter futures for those in need of a new beginning as we share a similar vision of vitality - providing people with the tools to make their lives better, healthier and more enjoyable."
For almost a decade, Unilever United States has donated more than $800,000 towards the building of ten houses, nationwide - six of which are in Paterson, NJ. In addition to the dollar commitment, more than 650 Unilever volunteers have dedicated their time and skills across the various builds.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 175 000 houses, providing shelter for nearly 900 000 people worldwide. Local Habitat affiliates coordinate house building and select partner families. The houses, built through volunteer labor and donations of money and material, are sold to families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The families must also invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, "sweat equity," into building their homes.
"We are most thankful for Unilever's ongoing commitment to Paterson and its vibrant residents. Such communities would never be possible without the support of concerned corporations like Unilever," stated Barbara Dunn, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Paterson. "Today, we are one step closer of eradicating substandard housing and providing a promising future to a loving family. It’s part of the American dream and we’re witnessing it today."
Prior to qualifying as Habitat homeowners, David and Evelyn Rojas, the Unilever sponsored family, were living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with their infant son, David, paying $725 per month in rent.
"My income wouldn't let me qualify for a commercial mortgage," stated Mr. Rojas, who works in shipping for a pharmaceutical distributor. His wife, Evelyn, is employed as a Folder Operator for Miniature Folding Inc. "As a new family, we were in great need of owning a home. A week later, a neighbor in our apartment building introduced us to Habitat and our future changed from there."
About habitat for humanity international
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.
Unilever [NYSE: UL, UN], one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.
In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Lipton, Knorr, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim·Fast, Snuggle, Suave and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs more than 15,000 people in 74 office and manufacturing sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico – generating approximately $10 billion in sales in 2004.
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