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BMW gives back to Greer with $70,000 donation to Habitat

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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Presenting the $70,000 donation to Habitat are Johannes Trauth (BMW Vice President of Human Resources), Lee Close (Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg), Manfred Erlacher (President and CEO, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC), and Monroe Free (Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity for Greenville County).
 
 
 
 

Garrett Mitchell Photo

Presenting the $70,000 donation to Habitat are Johannes Trauth (BMW Vice President of Human Resources), Lee Close (Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg), Manfred Erlacher (President and CEO, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC), and Monroe Free (Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity for Greenville County).

 

 

 

 

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County kicked off its 2016 building season with two projects in Greer.

During a Wednesday morning ceremony, BMW representatives presented Habitat for Humanity with a $70,000 check to finance a home at 210 Brown Street. Building the home is a collaborative effort between BMW Manufacturing Co., Greer, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville and Spartanburg counties.

BMW's donation coincides with the company's 100th anniversary and acknowledged its 20-year presence in Greer.

"This is a day that's been coming for some time and we're really happy to get this started," said Monroe Free, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County. "Greenville and Spartanburg counties are so proud that BMW is a part of our community. Between us we have served about 450 families, providing affordable home ownership."

The ceremony was attended by BMW Director of Human Resources, Johannes Trauch and President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, Manfred Erlacher. Erlacher said it is important for BMW to reach out into the Greer community and help those in need.

"We like to give back to the community," said Erlacher. "We wanted to build a house that is long term so we decided to do it. We really like the situation that is a collaboration between Spartanburg and Greenville."

The home's concrete foundation has already been laid, though the wall raising and construction will not begin until March. Greer State Bank, Michelin and Greenville Tech are sponsoring the first home build. Once completed the home will be presented to a family in Greer community.

Lee Close, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg County, said that providing families a new, affordable home has benefits that reach far beyond a stable living environment.

"The Habitat model is to take folks who are living in substandard rental conditions and give them a hand up to home ownership," said Close. "When someone becomes a home owner I believe they become a better citizen and so they participate more in community activities, church activities, their children have greater educational aspirations, and that's where we really see the benefit, is the next generation."

 

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