Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jennifer Grey - Humanitarian, Writer, Mom & Greenie

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Friday, May 22, 2009

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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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Discussing Power Women with The Green Girls

My interview with Apple of TheGreenGirls.com - thanks for the support!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Century City based Attorney and Habitat for Humanity advocate Rob Maylor 
founded LAYLA (Los Angeles Young Lawyers Association) as a way to bring people together to give back to the community...In just over six months, he has created a network of over 220 on Facebook, over 300 offline and over 600 that showed up on Saturday night at the Green Door, to "Party for a Purpose"...not bad at all for someone who moved to LA just over a year ago, and who already has a full time job! Teaming up with good friend and party promoter Andreas Counnas didn't hurt, and all proceeds raised at LAYLA's second event were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles...Led by Rob, representatives of LAYLA will come help build a house for a Habitat family in mid-June.

"Why do a party? Well, Party for a Purpose! I LOVE HABITAT! I think that having a shelter and a home is a basic human need," explained Rob, "I wanted to give back to the community in my own small way, I'm just trying to do my part."

And so he did.... LAYLA’s event was a huge success, and featured
everything a good event is made of (but what else would you expect from someone with such a good heart)...After free admission and a red carpet entrance, guests were treated to food and drinks at their own expense, but including treats such as lobster, steak and truffled mac n’ cheese
(wait...it's not the Waverly Inn...but I digress...). LAYLA's raffle included giveaways of a Wii (donated by Nintendo), a ROCK BAND 2 (donated by Habitat's ongoing partner Harmonix) and even an autographed basketball by LA Laker Luke Walton (who has built a house with Habitat in the past and was only too happy to help out once again!)...Green Door also contributed, by donating 5% of the night's food and beverage tabs to Habitat for Humanity via LAYLA...guests included lawyers, young professionals and the stars of the VH1 show "The Pickup Artist."

"There's no other young attorney's group that does community service in
LA...so we created one!”, said Rob. "I started LAYLA in November, with
10 friends that all wanted to do more for the community and network at the same time...well, it's working! Our first party had about 100 people attend, and this weekend it was over 600! And we'll be on twitter soon, so who knows?!" (Note to Rob: We love Twitter! Note to all: LAYLA even has its own intern program and gets young law students involved...for more info, contact Rob directly...)

On June 3, LAYLA will hold its next event, a Bowl-A-Thon at Lucky Strike...but not your typical bowling event...

"It's a COSTUME BOWL," said Rob, "Get dressed up and have a great time! We will have a DJ and teams of 4 from many local law firms..more info will come in the newsletter that we're sending out this week."

"This event was great, although from an organizational standpoint, it was chaotic... all my friends showed up to support Habitat and it was so busy! People were dressed to the nines…some girls looked like they were going to a wedding; a group of girls even wore all white dresses! There was just an outpouring of love and support...And every moment and dollar spent at the party helps put a roof over someone’s head, so it truly was a 'Party for a Purpose'...We’re looking forward to the bowl-a-thon..."

We couldn't resist...we needed to know, so we asked Rob, WHY exactly did he pick Habitat for Humanity GLA to be the beneficiary of his efforts? His answer said it all…

"When I thought of my organization and how we could utilize our philanthropic efforts to bring our own team together, Habitat was the natural choice. Building a house is a great team-building event for a group, and for a great cause...I wondered how I
 could involve the most number of people in an event, and at the same time have fun and give back? Obviously the answer was HABITAT! ... So, for
 those of you who haven't built with Habitat before...I highly recommend it."

HUGE THANKS to Rob, LAYLA, Green Door and all who attended...we look forward to your bowl-a-thon and your build day! Party for a Purpose indeed! 

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