The St. Norbert College student chapter of Habitat of Humanity partnered with DePere Christian Outreach and St. Norbert College to sponsor DePere's first Habitat for Humanity home. Pat Murphy is one of the unsung heroes of this project. Murphy, owner of one of DePere's largest construction companies, personally oversaw the finishing work of the house.
Four weeks before the house was to be dedicated, the project was short of funds, materials and time. Murphy learned of this situation and jumped in with both feet. He went well above the call of duty by personally overseeing the finishing work on the house and raising over $18,000 in donated materials and labor (some $7,000 from his own family and business). Due to his extraordinary efforts, the family that was moving into the house received many extras not regularly part of a Habitat construction, including a dishwasher, shelving in the basement and garage, trim and landscaping. Murphy ensured the family would have a Christmas they would never forget.
Murphy's work provided an extra special home to a family of six with many special needs. By helping to complete this house in record time, the family was able to move in one month early, just in time for Christmas. More than 300 individuals, 40 businesses and eight churches contributed to the construction of this home. Murphy mobilized more than 20 small businesses and 40 people to donate materials or labor or both.
Although Murphy provided outstanding service in a crisis situation, he also introduced many construction personnel to Habitat. After researching the Habitat organization, he became a great promoter of Habitat in the community and is planning efforts to continue this relationship in the future.