S2E3: Moser Habitat For Humanity Panel Build Day 2021
Speaker 1: Go.
Angel Leon: Hello, everyone. And welcome to another edition of ASCII Anything, presented by Moser consulting. I'm your host, Angel Leon, Moser's HR Advisor. This week's episode is a very special episode because we are doing a Habitat for Humanity panel build in our Moser corporate office. Moser Consulting has partnered for many years with Habitat for Humanity. And today, we are coming together to help build a home for Alicia, who worked through Habitat for Humanity to make this dream become a reality. We have a couple of interviews for you today, short and sweet, where we bring in our Chief Administrative Officer, Paula Moser, to talk to us about why Moser Consulting does this type of event, and how we partner with Habitat for Humanity every year. Then we speak with Amy from Habitat for Humanity about the process for obtaining a home through them. And finally, we bring in Alicia who explains to us how her process has gone even through COVID, and the feeling of finally seeing her dream come to life. Let's take a listen. With us today is Moser Consulting's Chief Administrative Officer, Paula Moser. We want to start off by asking why Moser Consulting does this type of event and how did we get partnered up with Habitat for Humanity in the first place?
Paula Moser: So let me start with why we decided to do it in the first place. So we always knew we wanted to do something a little bit more to give back. We've done the meals that you make here onsite. And we knew, with IT people, we needed to have an onsite event instead of somewhere where people would have to go offsite. So we started thinking about what organizations are around greater Indianapolis. And we of course know Habitat for Humanity because of all the marketing and things that they do. And we thought," Let's try it. Let's see what happens. Let's see how our employees, if they enjoy it, they don't enjoy it." Because it's totally different than IT. You got to swing a hammer. So it takes people kind of out of their comfort zone a little bit. And we also wanted to just see how team building would be with this event, to see how many different groups of people that maybe don't get in contact with each other because they're in different departments, that they actually get to meet each other a little bit and talk about life. So that's part of the reason why we started. What happened as we started going through it, when you get to meet the families, it's so special when you get to meet the families. Alicia is part of our family this time and a mom. And we get to do a two- story house. Just really exciting stuff. She is at Riley right now, and this is just helping her to get her feet underneath her. Still has to do the mortgage like they talked about, but she's just out there smiling, swinging the hammer with us. We're really enjoying it.
Angel Leon: Yeah, it's a very worthwhile experience. And for those of you who have never done this type of thing, we definitely suggest you getting with Habitat and doing it. But Paula, this year might be... it's a little bit different, right? Because last year, we couldn't do the event because of the pandemic. So this year's event, I feel like it's a little bit more special. I haven't been here in the past for the previous ones, but this year with the pandemic, it just gives a little bit more meaning to what we're doing today.
Paula Moser: I totally agree. Last year, unable to. We tried everything. They tried moving our date from March to the fall. It just wasn't going to happen. So we just made a monetary donation last year, instead of actually building and just to kind of help sustain them, because they still need money to sustain the organization. So we were happy to be able to help them out there. And then this year, we decided to partner with Salvation Army next door. So it was really nice because we do other things with Salvation Army, like the Angel Tree and stuff, at Christmas time. And they were totally on board. We love having them as a neighbor because they were like," Sure, we can help you fill spots." Because like you said in the past, maybe it was a little harder to fill spots, especially with IT. Everybody still needs their IT up and running. So not every single person at Moser can always volunteer. So it was nice to have them help fill in the gaps. But I agree, I think we have more participation than we've ever had for this event, and just everybody smiling, enjoying themselves. The pandemic was hard, I think, on a lot of people. I see a lot of people share pictures of their families and things out there. This is what has happened during the pandemic. Well, I haven't been able to connect with fellow employees, so it's been really nice to be able to see that.
Angel Leon: Yeah, absolutely. I have to say, I feel like this is the official event of coming back to Moser.
Paula Moser: I agree with... Yeah, because we had the offices either closed or partially open. And Indiana had not really opened everything up in Marion County, which is where both of our offices are currently. And they finally opened everything up in July. People feel like they got their vaccinations back in that April, May timeframe, even June. And so I think people were excited to get back and to see each other again, and face to face. It means a lot.
Angel Leon: Yeah. You can definitely tell with the camaraderie going on out there. Right now, as we speak, we got the second crew currently working. So we're going to head back out there to get more pictures and sounds. So, Paula, thank you very much for being with us today.
Paula Moser: Thank you for having me.
Angel Leon: And as we continue today here, we have another guest with us. This is Amy from Habitat for Humanity. Amy, Habitat's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. And today, I think we have seen this vision come to life. It's a pleasure to have you with us. Can you tell us a little bit more about Habitat's vision and mission?
Amy: Yeah, absolutely. You hit it right there. Habitat believes in a world where everybody has a decent place to live. We believe that housing and shelter is really one of the key components of having a healthy and successful life. And we believe that if we can help with that barrier of shelter and making sure that that is a safe and affordable place for people in the world and for our homeowners, that that is going to really just elevate their life on all accounts and just really help to make it a great place for their family.
Angel Leon: Absolutely. That's great. The mission and the vision are so key to what we're doing here today. And I understand that those who are chosen to go through the program go through something called sweat equity. So it's not just," I signed up. This is what I'm going to do." The process is a long one, to say the least, right? So for those who are listening, who would be interested, how does the process work?
Amy: Yes, that is correct. You often hear people say things are a hand up and not a hand out. And that is really a great representation of Habitat. We do bring so many people together to help our homeowners. And so we want to make sure that they understand what they're getting themselves into and are prepared for that. And so we do have what's called sweat equity, which our homeowners will start on after they've gone through the application process and been qualified for our program. And the way that our homeowners do that is that they show three components, a need, an affordability, and a willingness to partner. So anybody that comes to us has shown that they would not be able to get a mortgage through a traditional way. They show affordability. So I just tell people, you hear us talking about home ownership, homeowners, mortgage. Our homeowners are in fact that they are homeowners. So probably, the most common misconception of Habitat is that we give homes away. We do not give homes away. Our homeowners buy the homes, they pay a mortgage just like anyone else, but Habitat offers that at 0% interest for the duration of the loan. And then once we make sure that they are qualified through those, they really start to work on those sweat equity hours. And that's where they show their willingness to partner with us. And they do Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University. So all homeowners do financial classes here in Indy. Ours go through the Dave Ramsey program. And then they work on volunteer hours on other Habitat homeowners' homes. And then they do a certain amount on their own home as well.
Angel Leon: Interesting. Yes. And speaking of homeowners, with us is Alicia. She is the homeowner that we are currently working in building this house today here at Moser. Alicia, it is great to have you with us today-
Alicia: Thank you.
Angel Leon: ...to talk about this process and what it looks like for you, because I understand because of COVID, the process hit some snacks along the way. So could you share with us your story?
Alicia: Well, my story. I'm very grateful to be a part of this program. It's a wonderful program. I've learned so much about managing my finances and saving and just being able to be a homeowner to where my children... they're teenagers now, so when they go away and start doing their own thing, but they still have a home to come home to. And so that means a lot to me. During COVID, everything got pushed back for almost a year. So I've been living with my parents for the last year. It'll be two years by the time we actually closed. So that's been rough, but it taught me patience and it just taught me a lot, to just be able to remain consistent in what I've learned, to keep saving money and keep paying my bills and just be patient. So I'm very grateful for Habitat.
Angel Leon: That's great. That's such a great story to hear. Just going through COVID in general, as individuals, it's hard, but then going through COVID as waiting for your house to be built, I can imagine the stress and just everything around it being so difficult.
Alicia: Yes. It was kind of difficult, because I kept saying," Oh, well." I would get discouraged. And then I was like," No. I'm just going to keep waiting and be patient, just be patient." And so it was really funny, because the foundation went in, and then so I happened to ride past my property. And so I called Debbie and I was just like," So is this house blown up?" And she's like," No. We're just getting a head start." And I was like,"Are you sure?" And she was like," Yeah, we're sure." I was just like," Oh, okay." So it just taught me a lot of patience, just to be patient. And it gave me a lot of hope. As I would drive past my property and look at the foundation, I would walk around the foundation and just think to myself," One day this is really going to be my home." And I really, really enjoyed that. So I can't wait. COVID taught me a lot.
Angel Leon: And just thinking about that, that thought about the foundation being laid down and you walk in. That have to probably give you some thought, right, going forward, just because you're waiting but you can see that foundation there and you could see that goodness being built slowly but surely, as a good friend of mine would say. And that gives you hope, gives you great thought.
Alicia: Excitement. Yes, yes. To keep enduring and just continue with the process. Keep listening to my mentors telling me what to do, what not to do. And just having them as a resource to reach out to, even when I did get frustrated during COVID, because myself and my three children are living with my parents. And so just went through COVID as just like," Hello. I'm the parent still." But then you have the grandparents there that are overwriting what mom says. So it caused a little conflict here and there sometimes. But in spite of it, we still got to spend time with my parents during COVID, and my children got to see that. So I'm truly grateful for it.
Angel Leon: Sure. Yeah. It does provide for some good family time a little bit sometimes. A little bit difficult, yeah. But I want to ask, because I know we've all done some kind of work today. How does it feel to grab a hammer, put down some nails and know that that effort that you're putting in today is it's going to be yours?
Alicia: It's so overwhelming. I'm so excited. I'm overjoyed. It's just so many different emotions that go through my mind, but I am extremely happy. Great to see everyone come out and help and dedicate their time to volunteer. It means a lot to be able to network with different people and make friendships. And I really, really appreciate it. It feels really good. I can't wait to be able to read the comments on the walls when people start being able to write on the walls. So just knowing that I'm going to be in the house that's going to be filled with all types of encouragement and love is fantastic. I just can't wait.
Angel Leon: Well, I can tell you on behalf of Moser Consulting, we are very excited to be part of this process for you. We're always very excited to partner with Habitat for Humanity. We've done it for a number of years. And we're very excited to see the finished product here today. So thank you very much for joining us here at ASCII Anything.
Alicia: Thank you so much. Thank you.
Angel Leon: Thank you for listening in to this week's edition of ASCII Anything presented by Moser Consulting. We hope you enjoyed listening into our Habitat build episode. We'd love it if you would join us next week when we continue to dive deeper with our resident experts in what they're currently working on. If you have an idea or a topic you'd like us to explore, please reach out to us through our social media channels. In the meantime, please remember to give us a rating and subscribe to our feed wherever you get your podcasts. Until then. So long, everybody.
Speaker 1: Go.
Moser Consulting is a long-time partner of Habitat For Humanity. Last week, we hosted a panel build in the parking lot of our HQ in Castleton, Indiana.
In between hammer strikes, ASCII Anything talked with Paula Moser about our company's involvement with this particular charity. We also spoke with Amy, our build's Habitat For Humanity rep, and Alicia, the future owner of the house Moser is helping to build.