October 20, 2015

How much can a contractor armed with hundreds of community-minded employees accomplish during 25 consecutive days of volunteerism?

Plenty, if DPR’s recent 25 Days In The Community initiative is any gauge.

In Phoenix, DPR completed renovations throughout the UMOM New Day Center campus. UMOM is the largest shelter for homeless families in Phoenix, and offers wrap-around social services to help their clients get back on their feet. Photo courtesy Tim Hyde.

Held as part of DPR’s 25th anniversary celebration, the initiative took place during the month of September in DPR offices coast to coast, putting the spotlight on DPR’s 2030 vivid description to be ‘integral and indispensable to the communities where we work.’ While the concentrated effort drew extra attention to DPR’s commitment to community involvement during the challenge month, it also served to highlight the skills-based volunteering and relationships that DPR regional offices maintain year round with organizations.

Over 25 consecutive days that began September 8th, DPR volunteers focused their skills, energy and resources on initiatives ranging from remodeled youth centers to upgraded facilities for homeless families, youth education programs and more. Altogether, DPR volunteers tallied about 5,000 hours in planning and executing initiatives to fill vital community needs.

In West Palm Beach, FL, DPR hosted the first of a two-part Construction School for youth at the Milagro Center. DPR has supported Milagro since 2011 through volunteer time and donations from the DPR Foundation. Photo courtesy Adriana Martinengo-Rosenberg.

While each outreach event was unique, collectively the results of the 25 Day initiative included:

  • 15 single and multi-family residences were renovated for veterans, families transitioning from homelessness and other deserving individuals, enabling them to live safely in their homes.
  • 5 youth centers that serve hundreds of teens and children in under-resourced communities were renovated to create inspiring, comfortable spaces to do homework, create art and enjoy being a kid.
  • 8 organizations received generous supplies of clothing, food and household items to better serve their clients.
  • 4 youth groups received hands-on mentoring from DPR volunteers on construction careers and other educational topics.

DPR Foundation president Gavin Keith pointed out that all of the organizations benefitting from DPR’s outreach efforts last month represent long-term relationships. 

“All the organizations we worked with during the 25 Days event are groups that we work with all year round,” he commented. “We focus on going deeper with these organizations rather than working with many different groups. We try to provide the best possible assistance to really well-researched organizations that we know are doing a great job in their communities.”

DPR's Raleigh, NC team completed major renovations to apartments used by PLM Families Together to provide short-term housing for homeless families. Photo courtesy Mindy Gray.

While the social issues DPR’s regional offices focus on vary across the country, they particularly seek out projects that can benefit from their collective expertise as a hands-on builder, Keith added. Building a house for a homeless family in Baja, renovating a veteran’s home in Austin and making improvements to a children’s center in Tampa are just a few of the projects DPR employees completed during the 25 Day in the Community initiative that illustrate the unique value DPR employees bring to the table. 

A major component of DPR’s regional Community Initiatives is the DPR Foundation. Founded in 2008, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit’s mission is to support organizations that assist economically disadvantaged youth.

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one. Follow #DPR25 on social media to learn more.