Habitat for Humanity is receiving a New Year’s gift, courtesy of Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). Today, Nissan donated 50 full-size Nissan Titan trucks to support the organization’s rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast region due to the devastation of the 2005 hurricane season. Dan Gaudette, senior vice president, North American Manufacturing and Quality Assurance, NNA, presented the fleet to Chris Clarke and Ken Meinert, senior vice presidents of Communications and Operation Home Delivery for Habitat, in a ceremony held on the campus of Nissan’s vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Miss.
The retail value of the 50 Nissan trucks is more than $1 million. "We recognize that it will take a long time and enormous efforts to rebuild along the Gulf Coast. With these Titan trucks, Nissan will help that work proceed," said Gaudette. "Nissan’s corporate mission is to ’enrich people’s lives,’ and our trucks will help Habitat For Humanity enrich the lives of many people whose homes were ruined by the hurricanes."
Nissan became involved in hurricane relief efforts immediately after the impact of the 2005 hurricane season became clear. Nissan’s efforts included a cash donation of $500,000 to the American Red Cross; a donation of 50 vehicles to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency; the establishment of the "Nissan Disaster Relief Fund" to aid affected Nissan employees, dealers and affiliates; dollar-for-dollar company-matched employee donations to various relief organizations totaling up to $250,000; and employee donations of items to benefit victims and evacuees nationwide. In addition, Nissan ’s Canton employees joined with Habitat for Humanity in October to build two new homes in their local community.
"While we are well known for our volunteers working tirelessly to build homes and provide a ’hand up’ for low income families, that work is only possible as a result of the dedicated efforts of our Habitat affiliates in nearly 1800 communities in the United States," said Chris Clarke, senior vice president of Communications for Habitat for Humanity International. "Today, for our Habitat affiliates in the hurricane affected areas, that work and their road to recovery just got a lot easier to travel.
Nissan North America’s generous and heartfelt donation of 50 Titan trucks will make a dramatic and an immediate difference in getting homes built and lives restored for families. "We are tremendously grateful to Nissan North America not only for this donation, but for all they have done in support of the recovery effort," said Clarke. Since the hurricanes, Habitat’s Operation Home Delivery program has provided volunteers the opportunity to help frame several hundred homes intended for families impacted by back-to-back hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The homes were built in places such as Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., St. Paul, Minn., St. Louis, Houston and Detroit, then transported — interior and exterior walls completed — to communities along the Gulf Coast for rebuilding. Currently, 60 of the homes are under construction or completed with more getting under way each week. The trucks Nissan is donating will replace some of the Habitat affiliate vehicles that were lost or destroyed in the storm and will provide another valuable tool in the rebuilding effort.
Nissan Titan trucks are built at the Canton Plant, which also produces full-size Nissan Armada SUVs, Nissan Quest minivans, Nissan Altima mid-size sedans and Infiniti QX56 full-size luxury SUVs. Nissan employs 4,300 people at the plant, which has the capacity to build 400,000 vehicles a year.