J&J gives major support to Habitat house in Highland Park

Teaming up with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County and with the Borough of Highland Park, Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Engineering & Technical Operations is helping to build a home for a local Middlesex County family in need.

Johnson & Johnson has donated $10,000 to the Highland Park home. Later this month, a team of volunteers from Johnson & Johnson’s Engineering and Technical Operations group from the New Brunswick campus will volunteer in constructing the home. Because of this partner sponsorship from Johnson & Johnson, the Esteves family of Sayreville will soon move into a new home after they were displaced by Hurricane Sandy almost three years ago.

“It is only with the support of community partners like Johnson & Johnson that Habitat is able to fulfill its mission,” comments Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, executive director at Habitat of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County. “This partnership highlights the diversity of support that Habitat receives to build more homes for hardworking and deserving families.”

The property on which the house is being built is located at 236 South 10th Avenue and was donated by the borough in 2014.

“It’s been a goal of mine to work with an organization like Habitat for Humanity and bring this community-wide volunteer opportunity to directly improve the lives of a family in Highland Park,” Borough Council President Susie Welkovits said. “With all the new development in town, it is important to continue our Borough’s long-standing commitment of affordable housing for our residents.”

Corporations and volunteer groups are drawn to the ‘Habitat Experience’ for local community involvement not only because of the urgent need for affordable housing in the local community, but also because of the extraordinary hands-on opportunity that Habitat provides.

Individuals, corporations and foundations can chose to fully or partially fund a Habitat home to help a local family in need.   House sponsors help offset the cost of Habitat homes to varying degrees and are integral in fulfilling Habitat’s mission.

“At Johnson & Johnson, our Credo states our responsibility to care for the communities in which we live and work,” says Marlyn Barrett, manager, Performance Management, who played a key role in coordinating this partnership. “By partnering with Habitat, we are living up to our commitment in a way that enables a family to have a safe, healthy and affordable home. We are grateful to be part of such a meaningful project.”

Construction on the Highland Park home began in May 2015, and the work is well on its way. Throughout the 10-month build cycle, volunteer groups work on construction from the first steps of digging foundations all the way to the final tasks of painting and landscaping.

This effort was sponsored by Jim Breen, vice president, Worldwide Engineer & Technical Operations, and Beverley Farrington, senior director, Global Facilities-Center of Excellence; it is managed by the planning team volunteers: Marlyn Barrett, manager, Performance Management; Mike Spishock, senior site manager; Nancy Sickles, business analyst.

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is committed to improving the lives of low-income families by helping them build and buy their own simple, decent homes.  Habitat offers families a hand up, not a hand out.  Every partner family devotes at least 200 hours per adult of sweat equity to help build their home or a neighbor’s home and secures a zero percent mortgage provided by Habitat.  Habitat supports partner families with training in budgeting, home and landscape maintenance and how to be a good neighbor.   To date, Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex has built 40 homes locally and funded 65 homes globally through Habitat’s global tithe program. Construction is almost complete on its largest project to-date, a five-home development on West Seventh Street in Plainfield called “Habitat Village.” Its first project in Highland Park is underway. To volunteer, donate, or own a Habitat home, visit www.habitatgpmc.org .


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