BNP Media volunteers work on the Habitat for Humanity home in Detroit as part of the company's sponsorship of the project.

The Guevaras' new home.
Staff members from BNP Media found little more than a foundation and a floor base when they arrived at a Habitat for Humanity work site in Detroit earlier this summer. On their first day, the volunteer crew raised the walls, installed trusses and roof boards and framed the inside walls. Five days later, after fixtures, flooring, doors and windows were added, the house sponsored by BNP Media was completed on schedule.

Now the home of Efrain and Damaris Guevara and their five children, the house was one of 31 built as part of Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project in Detroit's Core City/Thurgood Marshall neighborhood June 17-24. Known as a Blitz Build, the annual project takes place in a single location and results in the construction of a large volume of homes in just one week. Low-income families receive the houses by committing to no-interest loans and agreeing to work on other Habitat structures.

The Guevara family smiles from the porch of their just-built home in Detroit.

According to Tim Fausch, publishing director of BNP's Plumbing Group, "The Habitat organizers ran the project with great precision, our volunteers worked with amazing commitment, and the Guevaras represented the ideal family that everyone wanted to help."

A highlight for volunteers came on June 23 when former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn visited the new house to present a signed Bible to the Guevara family. For lunch that day, the BNP Media crew was treated to a Puerto Rican-style meal home-cooked by the Guevaras.

"It was an exhausting but very rewarding week," said Donna Edwards of BNP's research department. "The memories and friendships I made there will stay with me always."

Katie Zarrilli, a BNP Media administrative assistant, shared the sentiments. "I was touched by the thankfulness of the house family," Zarrilli noted. "I was grateful to have played a small part in this."

More than 50 BNP Media staff members, including those from the Architecture & Construction and Plumbing divisions, worked building the Habitat house during a week's time. BNP Media is the corporate parent of National Floor Trends.