"Working on a Habitat for Humanity build has been on my bucket list for many years," says Steve Ontiveros, GT Nexus client account manager. "I can't tell you how delighted I was when the Infor / GT Nexus acquisition was announced, because I knew Infor to be a strong partner with Habitat for Humanity. This was my chance!"
And he took that chance right away. On Nov 6, Ontiveros and seven other Infor / GT Nexus employees volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity build in Martinez, California, near San Francisco.
Ontiveros tells the story
"The entire Infor GT Nexus Team was excited to be there. It was the first time for most of us to be on a Habitat build. We were all eager to get to work.
"Habitat has been on this jobsite for about 18 months, and plans to be there for another 18 months or so. It's a 20-unit housing complex, where each unit will be sold to a family in need. Habitat houses aren't given away for free. Instead, needy families must apply, and their income determines the sale price of the home. Typically, the mortgage doesn't exceed more than 30-35% of the family's income.
"One group of us went to help prep for a concrete foundation pour. I joined the other group that was installing exterior wall siding.
"Our siding team climbed three stories of scaffolding under the watchful eyes of our project coordinators. Turns out, many of the Habitat staff working on this job site are volunteers with Ameri-Corps (think Peace Corps but in the US). Got me right in the feels to see so many young people choosing to volunteer a year or more of their time. I was also impressed with the Ameri-Corps volunteers' capacity for patience. What struck me was that they greet a team of 15 to 30 new volunteers every day. Without any knowledge of their crews' abilities, they masterfully and patiently taught us the ins-and-outs of installing siding while dangling three stories high on scaffolding. Hats off to those Ameri-Corps volunteers; they work every day to make this a better place."
"Apart from putting my somewhat dubious construction skills to work, I was pleasantly surprised to make better and deeper connections with work colleagues that, up till now, I've only smiled at while passing in the hall. The shared experience of doing something good for a complete stranger was enough to get us all chatting up and getting to know each other.
"I plan on dragging my family down to the job site soon, so they can join in the fun and hard work."