It’s the season for giving, and the AgAmerica Team has put its volunteering efforts towards helping build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
There’s nothing like being home for the holidays, and no one knows that better than the AgAmerica team of land lenders. This holiday season, the team took a break from the office to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to help with the organization’s mission to “build homes, communities and hope.” Read what the AgAmerica team had to share about their day of giving below.
The AgAmerica Team Helps Habitat for Humanity
Last December 2nd, instead of spending the day in the office, the AgAmerica team headed to a home building site in Lakeland, Florida, where they spend the morning painting the interior and exterior of a newly-built Habitat for Humanity house.
The group worked hard throughout the morning. Director of Business Development, Colin Clyne, found out that construction on the home started in August. “It usually takes 12 to 15 weeks to complete one of these projects – that includes securing the property, cleaning it, creating the landscape – and then having volunteer groups do the finishing phases,” Clyne shared.
With the house in the finishing phases, it will be finished for the family by Christmas. “Putting a fresh coat of paint on this house was like wrapping a Christmas present. The best part – the new homeowners will be moving in just in time for the holidays,” said VP and Director Of Marketing & Strategy, Phoebe Moll. “Knowing that we played a small part in making their Christmas wish come true was really rewarding.”
Why Habitat for Humanity
It’s common for companies to donate over the holidays to various charities and organizations, but Habitat for Humanity holds a special place for the AgAmerica team due to the connection of land ownership. “Habitat for Humanity has constructed and rehabilitated thousands of homes for low-income families in an effort to allow people to have safe homes with an affordable mortgage,” said Credit Associate, Caroline Hepler.
As lenders, the employees of AgAmerica appreciate that Habitat for Humanity does more than just build a homes. “Prior to moving into the home, Habitat for Humanity requires the home owners-to-be to take a financial literacy course,” Hepler explained. “Not only do they put people in homes, but they provide education on credit repair, deposit accounts, budgeting, loans, and estate planning in an effort to ensure long term success. Homeowners are also required to work to build their home (and other homes) along with other volunteers.”
The fact that the volunteering had an immediate impact on families was an inspiration to the AgAmerica team. “I love that we supported Habitat’s ministry. It was wonderful to actually participate in helping bring a residence a little further along to completion…a residence that will soon be a home for a family, providing stabilization and a place to build memories,” said Jackie Toenes, CCO/COO , in a sentiment that was echoed by all. It highlights another reason why AgAmerica chose Habitat for Humanity to volunteer. “While we are grateful to work with an organization that provides a great service to the stability of families and the community,” shared Caroline Hepler, “volunteering also brings us together as a team.”
The AgAmerica team makes dreams of rural land and farm ownership a reality all year round. As the nation’s premier land loan specialists, we help growers and producers succeed using our low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit.
Director of Business Development
Clyne is a graduate of Auburn University where he received his B.S. in Business Management. While at Auburn, he worked in the Office of the President assisting the Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Director of Public Affairs.
Caroline Hepler joined AgAmerica Lending in May 2016 as a Credit Associate. Bringing 15+ years of industry experience to the agriculture arena, Caroline is excited to learn more about the ag community’s unique culture and to apply her business acumen while helping farm operations grow.
Chief Credit Officer, Chief Operating Officer
Jackie Toenes joined the AgAmerica team in early 2014, contributing a wealth of operational and financial management expertise. Beginning in the transitional/bridge loan division, she now oversees the operations of AgAmerica and its investment fund loan portfolio as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Credit Officer.