Volunteers open a donated Whirlpool range

“When you add it all up through the years, it’s amazing”

Walk into a Habitat for Humanity house in the U.S., find the kitchen, and check out the refrigerator or range. They will have the name Whirlpool on them.

“We’ve been partnering with Habitat since 1999, and it started when a few employees were building with Habitat. I think they were volunteering fairly regularly. They noticed the need for appliances and took it from there,” says Deborah O’Connor, Whirlpool Corporation’s director of corporate reputation and community relations.

“Since then, we’ve given a range and a refrigerator for every Habitat home built in the U.S.,” O’Connor says.

Whirlpool has donated more than 175,000 ranges and refrigerators for new Habitat homes. They also have donated more than 41,000 products to Habitat’s ReStore retail outlets, raising even more money to help build houses.

And Whirlpool doesn’t stop with providing products; it also gives generous financial support and marshals much-needed volunteers. “We sponsor homes that are in those cities where our plants and headquarters are,” O’Connor says. “The homes that we sponsor, it’s all Whirlpool volunteer hours. All the volunteer hours are ours.

“For us it’s really great for employee engagement,” she continues. “If you want to take your team for some team-building, what better way to do that than to build a Habitat home and get to build right next to the homeowner?”

One of the best parts, O’Connor says, is feeling the pride of Whirlpool supporting Habitat. “It’s really exciting for us to see that we’ve made a difference. When you add it all up through the years, it’s amazing.”