Great Western Embraces Home Building Amid Challenging Year for Volunteers with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity Partnership

December 2020—DENVER, CO

Through Great Western’s commitment to the communities in which we live and work, partnerships with organizations such as the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity have been able to flourish, even during this challenging year.

“The pandemic has drastically impacted the level of people opting to volunteer,” said Cheri Witt-Brown, executive director for Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity. “Through partnerships with companies like Great Western, we’re able to continue pushing our mission forward to build affordable homes for families and community members in need.”

With the support of Great Western and other members of the community, Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity has secured 200,000 volunteer hours and built 150 homes locally over the course of their operation. Great Western’s employees helped construct Habitat homes and support at-risk high school students who have underperformed academically.

“We value the partnership with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity as we are supporting people in the communities in which our employees live,” said Susan Fakharzadeh, VP of corporate communications and government affairs at Great Western. “Not only do we have dedication and a commitment to helping the communities in which we live and work, but by partnering with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity, we know our contribution can help assist at-risk youth and end poverty cycles, on top of building affordable housing right here, in Colorado. And that is a tremendous achievement for our employees to be part of.”

In the charitable journey with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity, awe-inspiring stories have come to fruition. Most recently, a local caregiver was able to find two of her patients’ homes.

Thomas Spratte and Jackie Wildenberg were both involved in separate car accidents that left them with quadriplegia. While in rehabilitation care, the two shared experiences and became close friends. After finding their living situations weren’t as accommodating to their mobility restrictions, their caregiver, Margaret Doran, learned about Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity and the opportunity for Tom and Jackie to become homeowners. Not only did both Tom and Jackie apply for a Habitat home, both were accepted and subsequently matched as neighbors in a new, upcoming subdivision in Evans, Colorado. 

“Both Tom and Jackie were unique applicants for our program,” said Theresa Myers, vice president of Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity. “They deserve homes that accommodate their needs and we’re excited to make that a reality for them.”

Their homes are being built in a subdivision with 27 other homes meant for Habitat families. The subdivision is part of a collective effort to rebuild the community of Evans after it was ravaged by floods in 2013.

Learn more about Tom and Jackie’s journey by watching this video.

With every minute of volunteering and every dollar donated, companies such as Great Western help build organizations to have incredible impacts. Great Western’s commitment to the community provided volunteer hours for the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity to build the overall framing and dry wall stages for both Tom’s and Jackie’s homes.  

“It’s community partners such as Great Western that are the building blocks of our mission – literally and figuratively,” Witt-Brown said. “To see Great Western employees who are touched by our cause and their hard work makes our partnership even more gratifying. We look forward to working with Great Western again and watching our partnership truly prosper.”

“We are grateful to be part of a great cause that truly changes the lives of people in the communities in which our employees live and Great Western operates,” Fakharzadeh said. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity and continuing to help individuals and families achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.”