Diageo Employees Help Habitat for Humanity Address Affordable Housing Need in Baltimore

Relay Bottling Facility Staff Come Together for Build Day at Orchard Ridge Project Site

Apr 14, 2014, 13:01 ET from Diageo

RELAY, Md., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Volunteers from Diageo's bottling facility in Relay last week continued Diageo's long tradition of community service by helping Habitat for Humanity's efforts to meet critical affordable housing needs in the Baltimore-Annapolis region.  The project was spearheaded by a volunteer group of employees at Diageo's Relay site, which is North America's largest bottling facility for Captain Morgan Rum.  The work helped to complete construction of homes in the new Orchard Ridge community development, where Habitat for Humanity of Chesapeake is building 30 affordable homes for local families. 

"We're excited to have the Diageo team recently join us as a first-time Team Build partner. Together, we are committed to revitalizing Central Maryland and, as part of that commitment, the company has made a donation to support affordable homeownership opportunities for local families," said Mike Posko, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Chesapeake. "For their Team Build partnership, Diageo employees volunteered on the construction site to build Habitat homes in the Orchard Ridge community, while also building comradery among employees as they volunteered  together."

The Orchard Ridge community was once home to the notoriously problematic and underserved Freedom Village and Claremont public housing high-rises, which were demolished in 2004.  Responding to the critical shortage of affordable housing in the area, Habitat Chesapeake is completing construction of the 30 new homes in Orchard Ridge. To date, 19 homes have been completed and sold to Habitat Chesapeake partner families; six units are currently underway; and the last building containing five units will be completed later this year.  The Diageo volunteers worked on a variety of construction initiatives for the homes, which included framing, flooring and detail work.

"Giving back to the community is a core value within Diageo's culture," said Sharri Hall, Site Director for Diageo's Relay Operations. "It was wonderful to be able to come together as a team, alongside Habitat, and play a role in the creation of much-needed affordable housing in the area."

Diageo's commitment to community service extends across North America with hundreds of employees volunteering thousands of hours each year and contributing to numerous fundraising activities.  Volunteers at the Relay site participate in a range of charitable work in the community, including supporting the American Diabetes Association's Tour De Cure for four years running, the Adopt a Family program during the holidays, and the ongoing Zero Harm program wherein the team is awarded $1,000 for charity donation for each month the site achieves zero lost time accidents. 

Diageo has previously worked with Habitat for Humanity in New York via rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy.  Nationally, Diageo is known for responding swiftly in times of need and, through its Spirit of the Americas program, has completed massive relief missions to areas impacted by natural disasters including Afghanistan, Haiti, Southeast Asia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New Orleans, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Colorado and, most recently, the Philippines.

Diageo's Relay operation has played a key role in the Maryland community for many years dating back generations.  The Relay site was established in 1933 as the first legal distillery in the state of Maryland following the repeal of prohibition.  Currently, the bottling facility employs over 100 people.

Habitat Chesapeake serves Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County. 

Photo available upon request. 

About Diageo
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, Guinness, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards Wines.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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