September 3, 2014

It’s safe to say there is plenty of heart going into a Habitat for Humanity new home construction project that a dozen DPR volunteers began building in Sacramento August 22nd.

The project, which will give a low income, working mother of two a chance for a new start, is being built in the memory of longtime DPR employee John Kramer. Kramer spent more than 14 years with DPR before passing away last September. He had worked alongside all of the Sacramento region employees who turned out to participate in the first day of the John Kramer Memorial Build, a project to which DPR donated $21,000 in Kramer’s honor.

In addition to honoring the memory of Kramer, the Habitat for Humanity project offers DPR a chance to give back to the community and to help Mizan Tsegay, a single working mother of two (including one child with special needs), fulfill her dream of home ownership.

The first official workday drew a broad spectrum of DPR volunteers. Whether skilled in swinging a hammer or not, everyone contributed. That included the future homeowner, who labored alongside the volunteers to help create her new 1,500-sq.-ft., two-story residence.

Over the course of eight hours volunteers prefabricated all of the walls for the residence off-site at Habitat for Humanity’s warehouse. The walls will be trucked in and place on the Oakmont Street site at a future work date once the home’s foundation is in place. DPR has set aside three additional workdays for the project in September and October.

Rodman Marquez is spearheading DPR’s community initiative efforts in the Sacramento region along with Megan Valles, and both participated in the first workday. Marquez said the project is rewarding on many levels.

“There’s a pretty big gratifying feeling you get from taking a sack of raw material and turning it into a wall that will be a home for someone to live in, raise a family in and be a productive member of society,” he commented. “Mizan has a lot of challenges as a single parent with a special needs child. She is very excited to be getting to move out of an apartment and into a home of her own.”