It was a cloudy, windy day in June, but that didn’t stop nearly 80 people from trading in their desk jobs for hard hats and hammers to build a home for Elvira Rodriguez and her family. National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) partnered with Alliant Energy to build a Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, Inc. home that will eventually be located on Janesville Street in the Village of Oregon.

Rodriguez is a single mother who is excited to have a home where her three children can run and have a pet. Before she can move into her home, she will learn about house maintenance, finance and put in 325 sweat equity hours, including volunteering at the Habitat store and participating in builds.

Alliant Energy hosted the panel build and took the first shift of the day. NGL arrived for the second shift to finish building the panels and assemble the walls. Rodriguez took pictures of her future home and the messages that people wrote for her family.

The panel build held special meaning for one volunteer, NGL customer service specialist Charity MacLeod, who purchased a Habitat home in 2005.

“Helping with the panel build brought back a lot of good memories. It was a liberating time to be able to provide a better home for my kids. I felt more independent and confident. I still love my home and neighborhood today,” she said in a news release. “I know what Elvira is going through and I wish her and her family all the best during this exciting time.”

Julie Bauer, executive director of the Alliant Energy Foundation, said “helping families is one of the big reasons we exist.”

“Our employees were energized working alongside Elvira and her son,” she said.

The anticipated move in date for the Rodriguez family is April 2017.

– Samantha Christian