WILMINGTON — “This means so much to me and my family, thank you,” Brandon Wipperman said May 20 to an assembled group of Alkermes employees.
About 45 pharmaceutical company workers came to frame Wipperman’s Habitat for Humanity (HFH) home that day on the corner of Howard and West Vine streets in Wilmington.
“This is unprecedented. It is the first time in our local Habitat organization’s history that a company has committed its workforce to a build day,” said Bob Schaad, the HFH board treasurer.
The phrase many hands make light work certainly fit, as the well-organized group of more than 30 people had planned out the steps needed to make the framing day a success. They came prepared and worked well with Schaad and building manager volunteer Bob Hufford.
Alkermes’ commitment began last winter when Nicole Stinson, lead process engineer, asked the local Habitat organization for a big job. “We wanted to do something that would bring many employees together,” said Stinson.
“I am surprised that more companies don’t do this,” said Stinson. “It was great team building for us. Meeting Brandon and his wife, Jaimee, their daughter Zoey was powerful for all of us to know how important this home will be for them. We built a little hope on Friday,” Stinson said. “We are challenging other companies to get their hammers and folks out to Habitat.”
The pharmaceutical manufacturer has an employee volunteer program called Alks in Action, which is part of the business’ well-being program. The company supported the Habitat project by paying for four hours. The company also purchased lumber and trusses.
After this first corporate success, Schaad and Hufford are eager to involve more companies and their employees. The Wipperman house is the second home getting built this summer by Habitat for Humanity Clinton County. The other house is on Paris Avenue in Wilmington.
“We are depending on the kindness of our community to build two homes. We need help on Tuesday nights [5:30 p.m. to dark] and Saturdays [8 a.m. to 2 p.m.] to get this second one done by late summer,” said Hufford. He is the volunteer leader for the HFH crew, but also is in the home improvement business profession.
“Call the Habitat for Humanity office, 937-655-9484 and schedule a time when we can work out the details, if you want to bring a group to our work site. Anyone is invited to help and we need all the hands we can get,” said Schaad.
The houses being built are the 35th and 36th for HFW in Clinton County.