Guest Blogger: Dianne Thornburg of ICON Builders

I work for a company called ICON Builders. Our day-to-day business is doing Government Assisted Affordable Housing Projects, Occupied Senior and Multi-Family Rehabilitation Units, as well as, new construction. Our mission is to go into these facilities, renovate them and make the residents proud to live there. So, when we were looking to do a team-building activity with all of our employees from Santa Monica and Arizona, building with Habitat was the natural choice.

On April 29th twenty of us came together to build in the City of Lynwood. In true ICON Builders style we showed up wearing matching T-Shirts bearing ICON Builders and Habitat logos and the phrase “Building Excellence Together”. Our site supervisor for the day, Billy, took one look at us and decided to say his daily prayer and put us to work. He explained that he usually has to “teach” people how to do everything, but he could tell we brought experience (must have been the shirts)!  He had everyone gather around and his prayer was very touching to all of us.  He began by thanking ICON Builders for coming out and helping the families that were in need, he asked for us all to be safe as we worked on the project and he ended his prayer asking that we would be able to finish the work necessary to have these families move into their homes on time.  

He split us into groups, quickly explained the jobs that he needed done and we started building away.  Some of our experienced electricians noticed none of the outlets, lights, or fans had been done and offered to complete that task.  Billy was a little apprehensive at first, but once he learned that our guys were experienced he was elated. In addition to finishing every task he had in mind, we also completed all the electrical needs, organized all the garages and cleaned the entire yard that was being used as material and tool storage.  We were there a total of 6 hours and it was absolutely amazing the work that was completed.  We all pulled together and gave that project our best efforts. Billy and Bethy were amazing to work with and are just two individuals with big hearts (and muscles!).  We did not get to meet the families receiving these houses, but they did have their “stories” displayed for us on site and they also told their stories to us as we worked alongside them. 

Every single ICON Builders employee left that day feeling uplifted from the work we did and the experience of being able to give these families a home and a new life. If any other company is looking for some activity to bring their team together there is no better way than to come out and build with Habitat; you learn new things together, you have plenty of time to talk and you end up doing jobs with people you normally do not get to interact with. When I got back to the office, there were so many emails circulating about the day – which tells me this is just the start of a great partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. and ICON Builders.

Some of the emails;

This day was so important knowing that we were helping build (finish) homes that are going to provide an affordable place for three families with young children to live and also giving the support and making the impact that we did for Billy and Bethy.  They are out there every day with a variety of volunteers and I think the team-work that we showed them yesterday gave them a new breath of life.  I feel like yesterday we were able to answer Billy’s prayer that he says every morning.  I am so proud to be a part of ICON and to have such incredible people to work with every day.

Carin/Vice President

WOW guys what a day. My soul feels full today. Thanks for setting this up and thanks for giving in such a wonderful way.

You guys rock!



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