Local family receives new house through the help of VSP Vision Care and Habitat for Humanity – Greater Columbus
May 22, 2012
Columbus, OH, (May 21, 2012) – The Hester family of Columbus is moving into a newly completed house thanks in part to the work of employee volunteers from the Columbus-based Eastern Operations Center of VSP® Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States, and Habitat for Humanity – Greater Columbus (HFHGC) on Saturday, May 19.
VSP volunteers spent the day completing construction work on the home, which was sponsored by “The Fund for Humanity,” a revolving fund through Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) that finances building costs for homes built through HFHI, in partnership with VSP. Additionally, VSP has donated more than $3,100 to “The Fund For Humanity.” The donation is comprised of a combination of funds from VSP and money raised by VSP employees.
“At VSP, one of our values is that we support our community and environment by making a positive difference,” said Swen Carlson, a vice president with VSP who lives in Columbus. “Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity – Greater Columbus for this event is an example of how VSP employees live our values. VSP has had a presence in Columbus since the mid-1960s, and VSP is committed to supporting the community here.”
VSP volunteers also worked at HFHGC’s ReStore East, a resale store that accepts and sells reusable home improvement materials to the general public. Revenue from sales directly offsets HFHGC’s administrative costs and assists in both eliminating substandard housing and creating homeownership in Greater Columbus.
“Habitat is pleased to welcome VSP as a new Build Day sponsor, and we thank the more than 35 local employees who volunteered to help construct a home as well as assisted in our ReStore. We commend VSP for their commitment to improving the lives of low-income families in the local VSP service area,” said E.J. Thomas, CEO, Habitat for Humanity - Greater Columbus.
About VSP Vision Care
VSP® Vision Care is the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 57 million members and a network of 28,000 doctors. To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested close to $146 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 765,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States. For more information visit us at www.vsp.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vspvisioncare.
HFHGC works throughout Franklin County, Ohio and has built 248 homes, and counting, since 1987. The Greater Columbus Affiliate, through tithing to Habitat For Humanity International, has also helped to build more than 250 homes in developing countries throughout the world.
HFHGC is one of the only housing agencies in Franklin County targeting families who earn 30-60% of median income. HFHGC partner families are chosen after a careful review process during which Habitat assesses their need for housing; their ability to repay a zero-interest, no-profit mortgage and their willingness to partner with Habitat through sweat equity. All partner families are first-time homebuyers who earn 30-60% of the median income for Franklin County and currently live in substandard housing. Every partner family must perform a minimum of 200-250 hours of sweat equity, which includes working on their own house and those of other Habitat families, attending homeownership classes and providing Habitat program support. Every family also assumes a no-interest, no-profit mortgage with payments based on family income. Because HFHGC holds and services these mortgages, Habitat has a long-term relationship with the homeowners and the communities in which they live.
Also supporting HFHGC is Habitat’s ReStore, a resale store that accepts and sells reusable home improvement materials to the general public. Revenue from sales directly offsets Habitat’s administrative costs and assists in both eliminating substandard housing and creating homeownership in Greater Columbus. Now with two Columbus-area locations, ReStore East is located at 3140 Westerville Road, 3 miles southwest of Easton; 2 miles south of Morse Road and ReStore West is located at 240 N. Wilson Road, just north of Broad Street; and south of Fisher Road. Both stores are open to the public Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 – 5 p.m.