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May. 1, 2017

Rockford Volunteers Build Camaraderie

Earlier this year, Rockford announced a new “Volunteer Time Off” (VTO) policy that offers employees one full, paid day to volunteer for a charity of their choice. The purpose of the VTO program is to create community engagement opportunities for Rockford team members that are meaningful, purposeful, and help those in need. At the same time, Rockford recognizes that participating in volunteering events will also enrich and inspire the lives of team members.

Taking advantage of their VTO early this Spring, a group of Rockford team members joined Habitat for Humanity of Kent County for a build day in Grand Rapids’ Black Hills neighborhood, Southwest of downtown. The day brought people of different departments together to share their unique knowledge of the construction industry and their support for the local community. It was rewarding working together to benefit a local family, and it was fun to hear everyone’s different reason for being on site.

  • - Daniel Ruppert, a Rockford superintendent, spends his days in the field on commercial construction projects. Working with Habitat allowed him the opportunity to “get out and work on a much smaller project [than normal].”
  • - Terry Rostic, who works in the company’s Human Resources department, said he most enjoyed “working on the front of the house hanging vertical siding and actually doing it right alongside my colleagues!”
  • - Lee Purches, a carpenter in Rockford’s general trades group, used to serve on the board for the West Michigan Sustainability Forum, where he got to know several former Habitat for Humanity of Kent County staff members. He was really impressed with the number of LEED homes Habitat has completed in recent years, and shared that he was happy to be working with the organization again.

Volunteers completed trim carpentry and exterior siding. Some volunteers had no previous hands-on construction experience. These individuals were impressed by Habitat’s willingness to educate and inspired by the visible impact of their efforts. “Being able to learn from one another and work as a team was a great experience. It was amazing to see the impact we had by the end of the day,” said Kathy Fencil, Rockford’s Human Resources Administrator. “Rockford builds places with soul and this home is just that!”