CLOPAY GARAGE & ENTRY DOOR BLOG

Clopay Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Make Home Ownership Dreams Come True for Ohio Family

Oct 19, 2020

Clopay Corporation and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces to build a new house in Sidney, Ohio.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Clopay president Steve Lynch announced the door manufacturer will provide $100,000 in sponsorship funding for the build, which is expected to be completed in April 2021.

Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking Sign

“Clopay is grateful for the support that our local communities have provided to us over the years and we are proud to be the largest employer in the area,” said Lynch.

Clopay President Steve Lynch speaking to the group
Clopay Corporation president Steve Lynch

“Our employees are hardworking and loyal, and this build gives us the opportunity to showcase their work. In addition to our financial support, we are also donating Clopay entry and garage doors for this house,” Lynch continued. “Since these doors will be built in Troy and Russia, it is just another way our associates can be part of this project.” 

The icing – the thing that makes this project really special -- is that after committing to support this amazing organization earlier this year, we learned that the worthy new homeowner is a member of the Clopay family, Marie Strunk. 

Future homeowner Marie Strunk interviewing
Future homeowner Marie Strunk.

Marie has been on the Clopay team for almost three years and works the weekend shift at the Troy plant.

Groundbreaking ceremony

Marie helps turn the soil at the groundbreaking ceremony with local Habitat for Humanity executive director Bill Horstman, Clopay president Steve Lynch, Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst and construction manager Paul Hoying.

To qualify to become a homeowner with Habitat, a potential first-time homebuyer has to apply and meet specific criteria including earning 30 – 60% of the average median income for the Miami and Shelby county area. They also need to participate in the build process, putting in 400 sweat equity hours on the project, and be able to pay a mortgage.

Steve Lynch with Clopay and Bill Horstman with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat’s Bill Horstman and Clopay president Steve Lynch celebrate companies and communities working together.

Bill Horstman, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties, said Strunk has been a fantastic partner to work with since she applied for assistance in February 2018. She has contributed to Habitat’s efforts and earned the opportunity to receive assistance from the organization.

Bill and Marie talking on site of Habitat for Humanity home
Bill Horstman shares some of Marie’s story at the groundbreaking

“There is a misconception that Habitat for Humanity gives houses away. We don’t,” Horstman explained. “Marie will become a homeowner. She will pay a mortgage. She will contribute to the economic development of this area and this town.” 

Habitat for Humanity Home Plan

Marie’s future home has a cozy Craftsman feel and will feature Clopay doors made in Ohio.

At the groundbreaking, Steve Lynch recognized how hard Marie has worked for Clopay, but also that she has already put in so much hands-on work for Habitat with over 100 volunteer hours with the organization.  In addition, she has completed the required education classes needed to qualify for her own house…a dream she never thought would come true.

Strunk – now three-and-a-half years sober – has worked to overcome her battles with drugs and alcohol, maintain a job, regain custody of her children and help others struggling with addiction.  

Marie's Son digging with shovel at Habitat Groundbreaking
 

Owning a home is another step toward a life of structure and stability for her and her three children. “I want them to have a good upbringing and give them the same things that my parents gave me, that I had once lost,” Strunk said.

Marie’s Story

Marie has battled drug and alcohol addiction for most of her life. She was sleeping in a car in her parents’ driveway three-and-a-half years ago before she started on the path toward recovery.

“My addiction got the best of me,” she said. “I lost myself, my kids, my job. I went to jail. I forgot who I was, the person that I want to be.”

Determined to change her life, Strunk started working two jobs, attending counseling, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings and going to church.

Strunk has worked weekends at Clopay for almost three years, has worked at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Troy for the past year and is a certified peer supporter through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Today, she refers to herself as a person living in recovery free of addiction for three and half years.  

Habitat for Humanity Family with Shovels at groundbreaking

Because of her family and a special mentor, Marie is here and doing better than ever.  She credits her sister, brothers, dad and mom for always being there for her.  

Her mentor and friend Melissa picked her up more times than she can remember.  And Melissa is the person who encouraged her to apply for a Habitat for Humanity home once she saw that Marie was successfully holding a job, maintaining her apartment and car, supporting her children and most importantly... being stable.

“I want to thank everyone here today for your help, support and encouragement.  I am happy to share my story if it can help even one person who is struggling to put their life back on track.”

Marie also shared that her parents were together her whole life and were always there for her. 

Marie holding a picture of her mother

“My dad is here today to support me, but I lost my mom to cancer two years ago.  I am so thankful she saw me clean and I know she would be so proud of me.  I want to dedicate this groundbreaking to her and her memory.”

Let the build begin.

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