Fish Employees Help Build Habitat Home

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MTT News Desk's picture
By: 
Matt Geiger
Theresa Persinger, above, worked alongside volunteers from Fish & Associates Friday morning to build walls for the home she will soon occupy with her three young children. The workday was organized by Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.

In some ways the scene at 3148 Deming Way Friday morning looked like any other construction site. A table saw hummed in the background. Workers sporting hardhats hoisted lumber onto their shoulders. Coffee steamed on a table nearby, alongside half-eaten boxes of donuts. 

But these weren’t seasoned construction laborers. Beneath the hardhats were roughly 30 employees at Fish & Associates. Alongside them was Theresa Persinger, a single mother who will soon have a home for her three young children.

This was a Habitat for Humanity worksite.

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County provides solid, affordable housing for those who might not otherwise become homeowners. Eligible families pay monthly mortgage installments on zero-interest loans, each contributing from 325 to 375 hours of sweat equity during construction.

Persinger, who works for UW Hospital, is currently in the midst of investing her sweat equity. She learned in December that her application for a Habitat home was approved.

She equated to the news to a very big Christmas present for her family.

“I never thought something like this would happen to me,” she said with a grin, wearing a florescent safety vest and speaking over the clattering of several hammers. “I feel really blessed.”

“My kids will have the freedom to play in a real yard,” she continued. “I guess you’d call it the typical American dream.”

On most days, Fish & Associates’ employees focus on field inspection and quality assurance of bridges and buildings. The company helps owners, developers and architectural engineers  assure that structural problems don’t find their way into major construction projects.

On Friday their job was simpler: to build interior and exterior walls for Persinger’s home, which will be located in Fitchburg.

This isn’t the first time Phil Fish, president of Fish & Associates, has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity. He said the idea to transform his company’s parking lot into a worksite last week came from staff.

“It was our employees who generated this idea, and it was them who made it happen,” he commented.

Fish said the collaboration served as a way “to give back to the community” following Fish & Associates’ growth and success in recent years.

“We’ve been very fortunate, even with the economy the way it’s been,” he said. “And it made sense because I can say we’re firm believers, as they are, that everyone deserves a home.”

“We figured we might as well turn it into a celebration,” Fish concluded. “Do a little work, have a little fun.”

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity call 608-255-1549 or visit www.habitatdane.org.

 

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