In November 2017, Horizon Retail Construction employee volunteers mobilized to help Love, Inc., a Burlington, Wis., non-profit spruce up a new building it had purchased for its distribution center.
Over two days, 16 Horizon workers led by Vice President Dan Prince helped wire-brush and scrape walls before masking off areas and rolling up their sleeves to paint more than 7,000 square feet. Initially, Ben Mitchell, Program and Volunteer Director for Love, Inc., said he’d planned only to ask for Dan’s estimate on how much paint might be needed for the job.
“I had hoped to get some advice on the project and, as we were doing that, Dan started talking about getting a group from Horizon Retail Construction together to come out. It wasn’t long before he had pulled together six people the first day and about nine people the next day. They brought commercial sprayers and equipment and finished all the spray-painting that was critical to us getting moved in,” Ben said.
Horizon owner Patrick Christensen pitched in by donating materials and paint, which were discounted by Sherwin-Williams.
Everyone at Horizon has a great volunteer spirit, Dan said. “Horizon is a great company and does a lot of really good things, and we’ve had overwhelming engagement from our employees. It’s been very impressive – everyone looks forward to volunteering. In the past, we usually did team-building activities like go-carts, but when I asked them to volunteer instead, I was shocked by the positive response.”
Horizon employees who volunteered to paint included Abby Sokolowski, Ashlee Morgan, Ben Cichon, Camille Young, Dan Atkins, Dan Prince, Danielle Dubiak, Darrien DeNure, Julie Flaa, Krista Flaa, Kathy Vogt, Kyle Roadt, Marvin Gleason, Portia O’Bryant, Ron Scott, Sara Benner and Stefanie Andersen.
The distribution center is just one of the Love, Inc., projects Horizon employees have worked on in the past four years. Dan first became involved with the non-profit through his church, and now Horizon employees have been helping set up its annual holiday toy store for years. “They turn us loose and we set it up like a retail store for families who aren’t in the Adopt a Family program, so they can come in and shop for free,” he said.
“The Christmas decorating has been a wonderful standing ritual with Horizon Retail Construction,” Ben said. “If not for Dan, we wouldn’t have the connection with Horizon, and that connection has gotten stronger over the years. Their employees are hardworking and dedicated, and we owe them a lot. We couldn’t’ be more grateful.”
For his part, Dan has been impressed by the work that Love, Inc., does. “They provide Christmas to about 900 kids and about 260 families a year. That’s pretty big for that area of Wisconsin,” he said.
The mission of Love, Inc., is to help neighbors in need, and it does this by providing disadvantaged families with food and clothing from its stores, and by offering mentoring programs, case management, a food pantry and many other community programs.
To learn more about the non-profit and its programs, log on to http://www.love-inc.net/services/