Local Builders Donate $70,000 to Habitat Home

by Marilee Spanjian


Nearly every year, charity groups and schools get involved in building Habitat for Humanity homes in Williamson County. But this time, two companies are pooling their money and their resources to set an example for the rest of the community.

On June 1, The Jones Company and Crye-Leike Realtors joined forces to donate more than $70,000 and begin building Alfredo Rojo and his wife, Maria, and their four sons a new home on Good Neighbor Lane in Franklin. When completed, the project will have involved in excess of 100 volunteers and supplies and services from 46 other businesses in Davidson and Williamson counties.

Last week, Jones Company president Richard Chapman and Crye-Leike CEO Harold Crye visited the construction site in support of this June’s National Association of Realtors’ National Homeownership Month.

Since 1995, The Jones Company, a 76-year old residential home builder, has been building homes in this county. According to InfoSource, a local real estate market research company, Jones Company was listed as the county’s largest builder in 2003, when the company built 186 homes locally.

In the past, The Jones Company has sponsored House for Hope, a fund-raiser for local charities. Last year, it also donated $10,000 to buy children toys at Christmas. And while many employees have been involved in building Habitat homes in the past, Chapman said this is their first company-sponsored house in Middle Tennessee.

”There’s no better way than to go back and do what you do best to give back to the community,” he said. ”Now, the employees have even taken up a collection to purchase a gift certificate for the family to Lowe’s.”

After 27 years, Crye-Leike has grown to the nation’s 10th-largest real estate company and the largest in Tennessee and the Midsouth. In the Nashville area, there are 18 branch offices and one franchise office in nine counties.

Realtors from both the Brentwood and Franklin Crye-Leike offices are volunteering on this Habitat home. While they too are committed to the project, they are not responsible for raising the needed funds. As a company, Crye-Leike is donating their share of the money.

What convinced CEO Crye to get involved in this particular Habitat house is the Rojo family’s participation in the project. According to Habitat officials, the Rojos earned their sweat equity faster than any other family in the history of Habitat homes built in the area.

”When we heard how hard and fast the Rojo family worked to qualify for this Habitat home, then we knew we wanted to be part of this community effort,” Crye said. ”For Crye-Leike, giving back to our communities is a natural part of what we do every day. We don’t just sell homes; we try to make all of our communities’ better places in which to live.”

Since 2000, The Jones Company and Crye-Leike have had a strategic marketing alliance. Both Crye and Chapman agree that their participation in Habitat is because of this relationship. On July 10, the Rojos’ home is slated to be dedicated.

While it’s still too early for either company executive to commit to building another home within a certain time period, Crye did say, ”It is Crye-Leike’s mission to give back to our community and make it a better place in which to live. Habitat for Humanity provides an excellent vehicle for us to do just that.”