Over the past few years, I’ve heard several employees express an interest in partnering with Habitat for Humanity for one of our quarterly Clarus Cares events. So, we got in touch with Karraine Moody, the Executive Director for the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity.
This was the beginning of what turned out to be one of the best Clarus Cares events ever.
On June 19, the Clarus team participated in its first sponsorship day with the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity. Here’s how the day went.
Two Clarus Groups Worked on Four Houses
We worked on four houses (two duplexes and two single-family) that will provide homes to six families. We had about 80 volunteers split into two shifts.
The first shift arrived bright and early at 7:45 a.m.
We were greeted with a warm, appreciative welcome from the Habitat for Humanity staff. Tom, the crew supervisor, provided us with an overview of the day, a few safety rules, and a comedic introduction to his crew leads who would be working with us, which gave us all a few giggles to wake us up.
Each shift began like a synchronized chain gang as Clarus team members off-loaded cases of flooring from trucks and carried them into the homes. After that we broke off into small groups and worked on laminate flooring, underlayment, railing, and drywall installation.
“I appreciated how well organized this event was.” – Kelley Gargano, Senior Director, Product Management
I worked on drywall and lucked out as it was, literally, the coolest assignment in the basement of one of the homes on what was a humid day.
My team’s crew leads, Scott and Barry, were kind, patient, and informative as they showed us the ropes of drywall — all of us were first-timers. But by the end, I felt pretty comfortable installing drywall and thoroughly enjoyed drilling.
Meanwhile, other teams were becoming pros with the nail gun, caulking gun, several different saws, and floor cutters to install trim, underlayment, flooring, and railings.
The time flew by and before we knew it was time for lunch at 11 a.m. The second shift arrived and joined us for a catered lunch where we compared stories and shared laughs about our respective morning experiences.
“I thought it was great. They were a great organization to work with. I loved how organized they were and how smooth they made everything go.” – Brian Carl, Senior Director of Online Marketing:
The Afternoon Shift
After lunch, the afternoon shift picked up where the early birds left off.
There was more to unload from the trucks and work continued mostly on the flooring and drywall.
“Amazing day. Really enjoyed partnering up with my Clarus team. And the Habitat crew was super friendly, helpful and appreciative! Wish we had more time to work with them as it seems everyone wanted to stay a couple more hours.” – Chris Cobb, VP, Retail Partnerships – Loyalty
At the end of the day, Clarus installed vinyl flooring in nine rooms, underlayment in three rooms, drywall in half of one basement, three handrails, numerous doorknobs, and two rooms of baseboard trim.
That’s pretty impressive!
“My experience this morning was amazing. We achieved way more than I expected we would, and I believe our work was of good quality. It’s a real nice feeling to know a family in need will someday enjoy those houses. I was very proud of the organization. Particularly for a company our size, I think this was a unique opportunity. We all gave back and got to know each other a bit better in the process.” – Brian North, VP, Corporate Controller
Beyond that, we learned a new trade and enjoyed the conversations and knowledge with the Habitat crew.
“I really enjoyed yesterday’s event! It was great to learn skills while also giving back to a great cause.” – Andrea Babcock, Operations Support Specialist
But most of all, we left with an incredible sense of fulfillment to be part of something bigger than all of us in providing homes for six families, and extreme gratitude for what Habitat does for so many people.
“Really enjoyed the event. It was rewarding working on homes for a family that really needs one. I can only imagine the smiles when they see their homes for the first time. Timing was good, distance was good. I’d like to participate in this type of event again.” – Nelly Rogers, Senior Client Manager
Why We Partnered with Habitat for Humanity
One of the reasons we partnered with Habitat is because it is well-known for the positive work it does in the community and it’s something we always wanted to be a part of.
The Clarus team is energetic, collaborative, and hard-working; and since we typically have 75-80 participants for our Clarus Cares events, this four-home project seemed like a great fit.
And the overwhelming feedback from Clarus team members made it even better.
“Please keep up the H4H opportunities!” – Marina Moser, Technical Support Analyst
“Would definitely like to do that again. Nice helping out someone in need and we get to learn a new skill set at the same time.” – Matt Granata, Customer Service Supervisor
“I really enjoyed the Habitat for Humanity day. I’d be interested in volunteering more either with them, or other volunteer organizations.” – Ian O’Loughlin, Software Engineer
“Really enjoyed this one. We should keep doing these.” – Rooshi Rajkotia, Director, Software Engineering
Everyone Felt Great Lending a Helping Hand
I think the consensus feeling is clear: Everyone at Clarus who participated in this Habitat for Humanity event walked away from it feeling fulfilled, happy, proud, and eager to do something like this again.
“This was my favorite Cares event. There’s something especially meaningful when you’re helping build a home for a family. It helped me realize how grateful my family would be knowing people took time out of their lives to help build a home for us. It was a great use of our time and I’m hoping we can make this a regular event!” – Danielle Perez, Senior Demand Gen Manager
An event like this, I think, shows the true heart of Clarus and you can see it from the smiles of everyone who took part.
“I loved participating in Habitat. It was so great to be a part of Habitat again and I can’t wait to do it again in the future.” – Rishelle Notghi, Senior Digital Designer
Spending a day lending a helping hand to people in our community is an incredibly satisfying feeling.
If doing great work both inside and outside the office sounds awesome to you, check out our current job openings!