The Role of Social Responsibility in Local Business

As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on the bottom line. However, we feel as a local business we have a social responsibility to give back to our community. In 2016 we decided to partner with Topeka Habitat for Humanity by donating $3,700 worth of materials and labor to bring one new homeowner’s outdoor imagination to life. Giving back to our community, the community that has allowed us to thrive and grow for over two decades, is important. It allows us to connect. It allows us to show appreciation. It allows us to make someone else’s day better every time they look out their window or pull into their driveway.

The Vibrant and Resilient Homeowner

The first time we met Faith we could tell that she was a strong, temperate woman who has worked hard for everything she has. She was both outwardly funny and incredibly shy. Warmth radiated from her smile. When our meeting was over, we asked Nikki MacMillan, Habitat’s Director of Community Engagement, what she thought of Faith. “Faith has been a wonderful addition to our Topeka Habitat family,” MacMillan said. “She is hard working and kind hearted. Her life has not always been easy, but she comes from a long line of strong women and has always risen above her difficulties.” For any Kansan, the connection to our state motto is immediate – Ad Astra Per Aspera: To The Stars Through Difficulty.

Faith’s passion is cooking. Not only does she prepare meals for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, she spends all day cooking at a local senior living retirement community.

Our mission is simple: try our best to match the vibrancy and resilience we see in Faith to the vibrancy and resilience she’ll see in her new home. We want to enhance the sensory experience of coming home.

The Home Built by Local Youth

Faith’s new home was built by a group of local students from Seaman High School. The high school construction science program in Topeka is one of very few in the country. Habitat for Humanity provides the building materials to three local high schools and in turn they each build a home on site at their school. The home is then moved to the foundation and finished by volunteers. “The students participating in these programs are not only are receiving a real world education, they are learning the importance of giving back,” says MacMillan. “These students all have a higher graduation rate and most of them go on to higher education in related fields such as engineering, architecture, or building science.”

The Landscaping Solution

Topeka Landscape put forth a $3,700 donation of materials and labor to bring Faith’s outdoor imagination to life. Around the home we are installing landscape beds that house shrubs and perennials to deliver seasonal color. Blooming lilacs will provide fragrance and pigment in the spring while roses, day lilies, and hydrangeas will debut in the summer with an array of different colors and textures. The addition of Burgundy Bell Maple trees in the yard will provide a vibrant red hue in the fall.

Beyond plantings, we wanted to give Faith a true outdoor living space she could enjoy with friends and family. The newly installed flagstone patio will give her a place to set up her grill and the freshly seeded yard will grow into a place where the great grandchildren can play freely.

The Newly Defined “Bottom Line”

What does “the bottom line” mean for Topeka Landscape now? It’s not just the final total on our balance sheet. For us, it’s the importance of the ultimate outcome. With one small donation, we are able to help support a reputable non-profit organization in our community, a hard-working home owner with a dream, and local area high school students learning skills and trades to help them in the future.

We are proud to partner with Topeka Habitat for Humanity and we are thrilled to have worked with Faith. We’d also like to extend thanks to our partners at Loma Vista Nursery for donating the shrubs and perennials for Faith’s garden. Their generous donations helped us actualize this project for Faith.

About Topeka Habitat for Humanity

Topeka Habitat for Humanity has been serving families in Topeka for 31 years by providing home ownership opportunities to deserving families. The organization has built nearly 100 homes in Topeka so far.

Habitat homes are sold to partner families with a zero-interest mortgage with families paying a $1,000 down payment and serving anywhere from 200-400 sweat equity hours volunteering with Habitat. The family then makes monthly mortgage payments to Habitat for Humanity. These payments allow the organization to continue building the next home for the next family.