More than 120 employees of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems recently rolled up their sleeves and got to work with hammers and nails, assembling the walls of a house for a Northeast Ohio family in need. The construction project took place May 22 at Bendix’s Elyria headquarters, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Medina County and Help Build Hope.
The three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,100 square-foot home is being built for the family of Andy and Kristina Phillips of Brunswick. Kristina and Andy – a full-time truck driver – have three children: Madison (8), Connor (7), and 2-year-old Lucas, who requires extensive supportive care due to a rare brain malformation called lissencephaly. The new home will better accommodate Lucas’ ongoing care needs than their current apartment, making it easier and safer for the family to care for him. Special modifications to the house include a motorized chair lift, donated by Bendix.
“The support and efforts of our employees are the heart and soul of Bendix’s ongoing commitment to building communities and positively impacting our neighbors,” says Maria Gutierrez, Bendix Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. “Part of our company culture is striving every day to put our social responsibility to work and make a difference, and it simply doesn’t happen without the inspiring generosity of our team members and their families.”
Bendix also provided $1,500 toward roofing the home.
After building the house’s frame, Bendix volunteers inscribed messages and well-wishes on beams and walls. The entire structure was then disassembled and prepped for transport to Brunswick for completion. Construction is expected to be completed by October, dependent on weather.
“We’re thankful to Medina Habitat for Humanity, Bendix and all the volunteers,” says Andy Phillips. “Our family is so appreciative of what’s going on here, and this is really going to help a lot.”
“It’s just amazing how many people came out here,” Kristina Phillips said on the morning of the build. “It’s nice to know people are willing to donate their time.”
Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Help Build Hope earlier this year to construct the walls of another home, in Destin, FL. The build was a capstone event at the annual Bendix North America Sales Meeting. Both projects are part of Local Care within the Bendix Corporate Responsibility program.
Local Care fuels Bendix’s long-standing dedication to support communities, and aims to grow active social involvement among employees through leadership and project management experience.
“As a 100% volunteer organization, we are immeasurably grateful for the support and hard work of neighbors like the Bendix team,” says Cathy Brown, spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity of Medina County. “It’s a powerful thing to see your fellow Northeast Ohioans picking up hammers, hauling lumber, and donating their time and resources to a family they’ve never met, and it’s a reminder of what we can accomplish when we work together.”
Habitat for Humanity of Medina County has built 26 homes since its incorporation in 1991.
In addition to working with Habitat for Humanity and Help Build Hope, Bendix employees throughout North America participate in a wide range of community involvement programs, including annual United Way campaigns; hunger-relief efforts; Junior Achievement volunteering; and fundraising for the National Kidney Foundation, American Cancer Society and ALS Association.
Habitat for Humanity builds decent and affordable houses for people in need with the help of hundreds of volunteers. Homes are sold with no profit made, and the homeowners’ no-interest mortgage payments are recycled into the “Fund for Humanity” to build additional homes.
Help Build Hope nurtures sustainable relationships with individuals and communities across America through the framing of new homes. The organization works with partners like Habitat for Humanity to enhance community impact and to create hands-on opportunities for all ages through home building. With help from volunteers, Help Build Hope has orchestrated as many as 33 home-builds in one day.