A place to call home

Viasat employees in Georgia help local families through Habitat for Humanity

Viasat employees in front of the home of the Jobirs near Atlanta.

According to Habitat for Humanity, nearly half of adults at one point in their lives are in need of affordable housing. By partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Viasat employees are helping families in our communities by providing them with a stable place to live as well as a new path of opportunity and self-reliance.

For Lula Jobir, her 10-year-old son Mussab, and 65-year-old mother, a new home is life changing. Due to financial limitations, the Jobirs were living in a one-bedroom apartment in Georgia. Because of this, nearly three dozen employees in our Duluth office near Atlanta spent their Saturdays in October, 2016 rehabbing a home for the Jobirs. This newly refurbished 3-bedroom, 2-bath residence, which is about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta, allows them to have a place to call their own with a bedroom for each family member.

For the fourth consecutive year, employees in Viasat’s Duluth office made a difference in their Georgia community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Gwinnett County – offering support to renovate or build a home for a local family in need.

A team of employees led various areas of the planning months prior to the renovation. Melanie Davis spearheaded the effort and coordination, while Tyler Jackson, David Jones, and John Hotchkiss acted as team leaders for different aspects of the renovation. Phil Johnson championed the Viasat charitable sponsorship and encouraged employees to participate.

“It’s great to be part of a company which is committed to giving back to the community – both as a corporation and individually,” Tyler said. “Viasat backs that up with sponsorship funding for Habitat for Humanity.”

The finished project.

There were 32 employee volunteers through the month of October who contributed 294 hours to renovating the residence, which was in need of major landscaping and significant interior improvement. The home was approximately 1,600-square feet and required new siding, windows, doors, paint and ceiling renovations.

As for the Jobirs’ participation in the project, Melanie said the family worked on the renovations alongside the volunteers.

“I got to speak with Lula … quite a bit,” Davis said. “She was so grateful for the opportunity to have a new home. As she walked around her new living room, she shared, ‘I finally have the opportunity to decorate and establish a home.’”

Because of the high level of engagement from employees on this project in Duluth, Vpartners followed with sponsorship for the cost of the build. Vpartners is Viasat’s community outreach and charitable giving program which looks to employees to share in community engagement and seeks ways to offer support across all locations and employees’ community interests.

The Vpartners program, which formalized in 2003, made a tremendous impact in 2016, supporting more than 782 employees for nearly $700,000 to 689 organizations. Employees receive matching funds and financial donations for every hour volunteered, and have opportunities to volunteer on a regular basis with their families and colleagues.

 

Matt Farley
About Matt Farley 5 Articles
Matt Farley is a social media specialist with Viasat. A former pop culture journalist, he has covered subjects ranging from internet policy to punk rock music.