February 15, 2022
EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – What can be done in a year? For partners Benebone and Habitat for Humanity, a new affordable home in Ewing that stands complete and ready for a family to purchase is a testament to their efforts over the last year as they worked together to bring the home into existence.
The partnership between Benebone, a leading brand of durable chew toys for dogs, and Habitat for Humanity of South Central New Jersey, a local housing nonprofit, began in 2021 with a simple phone call. The equally passionate teams found their “dogmas” complemented each other perfectly, and together they have embarked on making a family’s homeownership dreams come true.
“We have been blown away by the incredible care and effort Benebone has put into this partnership. They have been involved in every step of the process, from the groundbreaking and modular placement to flying in employees to volunteer on the work site,” says Habitat CEO, Lori Leonard, “Even when construction was delayed due to challenges posed by Covid-19, Benebone stepped up even further by inviting our future homeowner and her children on a holiday shopping trip in December.”
Now, an intimate group of Benebone employees, Habitat BMC staff, volunteers, and supporters will come together in celebrating not only the completion of the project, but also the start of a wonderful new journey for the family.
“At Benebone, we’re dog-obsessed, but also care deeply about making a difference in people’s lives,” says Peter Toolan, founder and CEO of Benebone, “We’re thrilled to partner with Habitat on their mission of access to home ownership. We are inspired by the family’s hard work and dedication and have enjoyed donating sweat equity hours side-by-side with her. Wishing her family a lifetime of happiness!”
The new Habitat Homeowner works as a senior medical security officer. She has been looking for quite some time for a safe and affordable place to call home for her and her two young children. Thanks to the Affordable Homeownership Program at Habitat and Benebone’s home sponsorship support, the family is moving out of their cramped, outdated, and ill-maintained rental apartment and into a three-bedroom home outfitted with new appliances and endless possibilities. The homeowner shares the importance of homeownership for her and her family, saying, “Being a homeowner means everything to me. To me, owning your own property, a place that you and your family have to live, creates comfort when you know it’s yours and are able to create memories.”
The homeowner has worked tirelessly to achieve this moment, and as a single mom, she has had to balance work and caring for her family while also attending weekly financial classes and homeowner preparation seminars, lending a hand at the construction of her home and other Habitat projects, and saving funds for the new responsibilities that come with owning a home. As a Habitat homeowner, she knows that the hardest part is behind her now as she receives the keys to her new home; a place that will provide her family with comfort and security, with a yard that has space for playing with furry loved ones, and that comes with an affordable mortgage.
Leading up to her home dedication ceremony, she expresses, “Now that I am becoming a homeowner I look forward to making my home comfortable and a safe place for me and my children. I also look forward to being able to do more things at home with my children being that we will have more space and a backyard. I just want my children to be happy and know what’s important in life and that’s family.”
This home is special for so many reasons, and Habitat is endlessly thankful for this relationship with Benebone which has led to the sponsorship and construction of this home in Ewing, from the foundation to the front door. This build is no random happenstance, either as the neighborhood is located near the birthplace of Peter Toolan, who is one of Benebone’s founding partners. Peter, along with his father Jim Toolan, founded Benebone in 2012 and have led the company to much success through their growing line of durable chew products for dogs. Now, they’ve succeeded in giving a local family the “paw-up” they needed to build a brighter future for themselves, their family, and their furry loved ones.
To see photos of this project’s process, the new homeowner, and the home dedication ceremony, check out @HabitatSCNJ and @mybenebone on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to check out all that Benebone has to offer at www.benebone.com, and visit www.HabitatSCNJ.org for more information on Habitat’s services, active builds, and current events.