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St. Joseph , Mo. (April 28, 2005) - Habitat for Humanity and American Family Insurance made history today, together breaking ground for the home of the largest Habitat family in the local organization's decade of existence.
Representatives from American Family's St. Joseph regional office and the company's Madison , Wis., headquarters took part in the symbolic start of the project.
"American Family has been very generous and their employee mobilization around the project has been exemplary," says Linda Hartel , executive director of St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity. "It is exciting to be involved in a project that will build a home to last for a family in need. American Family's motto for the project is really appropriate: Raising the Roof... and Protecting It Too !"
Eva and Paul Frazier are excited about getting started on their new home. With seven children ranging in age from 18 years to 9 months, the Fraziers look forward to a having an affordable permanent location where their family can grow together.
"It is amazing to me. This is all still sinking in," says Eva, the mother of seven. "I feel really humbled and incredibly blessed."
Eva and Paul as well as their older children will work side by side with Habitat volunteers to construct the home. To Eva, this is part of a larger plan. "Two years ago, when I was stressing over how we would ever provide a home of our own for our family, our oldest son Michael, 16 at the time, said, 'Don't worry momma. There are seven of us. Sometime we will buy you a home.' Little did they know that this is the way they would fulfill their promise."
"American Family Insurance is proud to partner with such a fine organization like Habitat for Humanity to help the Frazier family achieve the American dream of owning their own home," said Ranger Duran, American Family's St. Joseph-based vice president of sales.
In response to the area's risks from wind and hail, tornadoes and severe winter weather, the American Family-sponsored home will be constructed to meet the criteria of Fortified for safer living ®, a national designation for new-home construction. S ponsored by the Institute for Business & Home Safety, a nonprofit disaster safety organization based in Tampa , the Fortified program incorporates simple but effective improvements like impact-resistant shingles, reinforced windows, and additional roof and foundation bracing.
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