Hands of Hope 2006
Greater Baton Rouge

Hands of Hope

Buffini & Company recently partnered up with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge to build homes for families affected by Hurricane Katrina. From May 27th-June 3rd, 2006, over 250 Buffini & Company clients, guests, and staff traveled to Baton Rouge, LA to help with the project.

Operating under the umbrella name Hands of Hope, this was part of the largest undertaking by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge.

Lynn Clark, Development Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge, was thrilled with the outcome: “Hands of Hope was a huge success because of Buffini & Company and the wonderful efforts of their clients across the country.”

Internally, Hands of Hope was coordinated by Christine Wiersema, Corporate Giving Coordinator at Buffini & Company. The project was initially inspired by Buffini & Company ClubNet Member, Dan Bogojevich who had traveled to the affected region directly after impact.

“The common core values between Buffini & Company and Habitat for Humanity are self evident,” said Wiersema. “It was an easy decision to work with them. Our mission statement is about impacting and improving the lives of others. Habitat for Humanity works to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities. Also, we coach a lot of people in the real estate industry, so there’s a strong connection there.”

Habitat for Humanity's Clark was surprised at the number of Buffini clients who showed up to help. “This truly was a remarkable week, made possible by the people of Buffini & Company. Everyone kept their sense of humor in spite of the extreme heat, high humidity, and sometimes pounding rain.” Impressed by the volunteers’ spirit, she stated, “Our staff and regular Habitat of Baton Rouge volunteers were astounded by the generosity and selflessness of so many who traveled from around the country to help us build homes. But more indebted are the four homeowner-families – McCormick, Isaac-Garrison, Pixley, and Christoff. These families lost everything during Hurricane Katrina - including hope. Working alongside the Buffini volunteers was an incredible experience for our homeowners that restored their hope and optimism about the future.”

Brian Buffini also traveled to the jobsite to pitch in, spending two days building and painting (the old skills still evident!). “I saw what had happened down in Louisiana – the devastation and destruction,” he said. “Teaming up with Habitat was a no-brainer for me. This is a great organization, and we were anxious to help out in a meaningful and direct way. This was not about politics or bureaucracy; it was about hands-on physical work and exertion. It comes down to serving others, which is something I’m very passionate about. We coach people to build their business up, but also to get involved in what makes them passionate. It was very encouraging to see so many of our clients sign up to join us in Baton Rouge.”

Said Wiersema, “Buffini & Company donated over $230,000 to support the Hands of Hope project. This paid for the essential materials to get the project off the ground, but this was about more than just donating money. The enthusiasm of our clients who went down there was infectious. Together, we built homes and hope – both for those families and for ourselves. The legacy has changed lives.”

Clark agreed, “The Buffini people took time from their busy lives to join us in the heat. After seeing the look of gratitude and joy on our homeowners’ faces, we would do it all over again. And will!”