Habitat for Humanity 2021
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Ohio Family Comes Home to Habitat House Sponsored by Clopay

Garage Doors

Sep 2021

Mother’s Day 2021 was extra special for Ohio mom Marie Strunk as she celebrated being a first time homeowner thanks to the support of Habitat for Humanity and area businesses.

Handing Over the Keys

Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys to first time homeowner Marie Strunk on May 6. Clopay Corporation sponsored the build.

At a dedication ceremony held on May 6, Bill Horstman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties, and construction manager Paul Hoying handed Marie the keys to a new three-bedroom, ADA-compliant house in Sidney, Ohio. She will live there with her three children: Alex, 10, Navaeh, 15, and Gaven, 20, who is in a wheelchair.

Habitat for Humanity House Exterior
Clopay donated funds for the build along with a new garage door and front door made at the company’s Ohio plants for the Habitat build.

Clopay President Steve Lynch at the Dedication Ceremony

Clopay president Steve Lynch and several employees attended the dedication ceremony. “It’s hard to believe that in September a small number of us gathered here with shovels to celebrate breaking ground on a new project.  In eight months, this impressive team has turned a vacant lot to into a bright spot in the neighborhood.”

Marie and family in front of the Habitat for Humanity banner

Marie and her family have a sense of accomplishment after working alongside Habitat volunteers to help complete their new home.

Lynch continued, “We are proud of the hard work Marie has done to warrant a new home for her and her children,” Lynch said. “The skills she has gained through ‘sweat equity’ activities and securing a mortgage with Habitat will help set her up for long-term success.”

Clopay committed to sponsoring the local Habitat for Humanity build in early 2020. It became one of the bright spots in a year marked by the challenges of manufacturing essential products during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Habitat for Humanity & Clopay Sign

House Framing

Habitat volunteers broke ground on the house September 29, 2020.

“This project was a natural fit for us as a building products company to give back not only financially, but by donating our products as well,” Lynch added. “Clopay is proud to be the largest employer in the area and we are still growing thanks to the support of dedicated employees and families in the community. This house reflects our associates’ pride in their work and the strength of being American-made.” 

Coachman Garage Door at the PlantClopay’s Coachman carriage house garage doors are made at the company’s Troy, Ohio manufacturing facility.

Clopay President Steve Lynch at the Russia PlantEntry doors are built at Clopay’s specialty door plant in nearby Russia, Ohio.

Installers from County Door with the Coachman Garage DoorMaster Authorized® Clopay dealer County Door Systems donated their time and labor for the installation.

Installers from County DoorAn Intellicore insulated Coachman carriage house garage door matches the home’s Craftsman cottage character.

Clopay is part of Griffon Corporation, which also owns The AMES Companies, Inc. brands True Temper, AMES, and ClosetMaid. As the main sponsor, Clopay saw a unique opportunity to partner with them to outfit the home with organizational products and yard tools to make it more efficient and easy to maintain.

ClosetMaid Master ClosetClosetMaid provided storage and organization systems for all of the bedroom closets and shelving for the garage.

AMES Tools in the ShedAMES donated professional lawn and garden tools including shovels, racks, brooms and cold weather implements.

Habitat executive director Bill Horstman said Marie 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 MarieBill Horstman and Marie Strunk at the groundbreaking celebration last fall.

To qualify to become a homeowner with Habitat for Humanity, Strunk and her family played a hands-on role in the process, contributing 400 “sweat equity” hours working alongside volunteers to help build their home. She was required to take numerous education classes ranging from budgeting to home maintenance, and will be responsible for paying the mortgage on her home.

Family Digging with ShovelsMarie and her family had already put in 100 volunteer hours with Habitat prior to the groundbreaking on her new home. The house is ADA-compliant to make it easier for her son Gaven to navigate in his wheelchair.

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

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

Marie Strunk and two of her childrenMarie with Naveah and Alex.

“This is a dream I never thought could happen,” Marie said. “When Habitat handed me the keys, it felt like a fresh start for our family and yet another step in my journey. With the support and guidance of Habitat and businesses like Clopay, my kids and I have gone from sleeping in the living room of a very small apartment to a beautiful and safe home for our family to live, laugh and enjoy life.”

Cement DedicationMarie lost her mom to cancer two years ago, but is thankful that she had the opportunity to see her “get sober.” An imprint in cement just outside the front door to her new home is a permanent dedication to her mom.

Habitat for Humanity 2021

Habitat for Humanity 2021
This is a happy ending to a new beginning.