Volvo introduced the excavator to commemorate the 10th season of Gold Rush on Discovery Channel. The exclusive gold Volvo EC200E was auctioned off by Ritchie Bros. this February following a U.S. and Canada tour spanning nearly 25,000 miles and 25 stops.
Leading up to the auction, the public cast approximately 1.5 million votes to choose which nonprofit should receive the larger value of the machine’s sale proceeds as part of the Discovery Give Big Giveaway campaign. With the votes in, 60% of the proceeds went to Building Homes for Heroes and 40% to Habitat for Humanity.
For public health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, Volvo handed over the proceeds to Building Homes for Heroes in a virtual event.
“While we would have preferred to celebrate in person, more important was getting the funds to these well-deserving organizations,” said Stephen Roy, president, Volvo Construction Equipment Americas. “We’re thrilled to see the culmination of the Gold Rush excavator contest and even happier to know that this money will help build and modify homes for people who need them.”
Building Homes for Heroes hopes to build and gift as many as 40 homes in 2020 for injured veterans and their families, which these funds will help support. The organization is also in the process of giving thousands of $500 checks to injured veterans and their families, many of whom are at risk of homelessness, in response to the current pandemic to help them purchase essential items.
But Building Homes for Heroes provides more to veterans than housing assistance — they also help consult with veterans on career opportunities and achieve their personal goals, from learning a new sport or hobby to even climbing mountains.
Andy Pujol, Founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes, said: “Despite the challenges so many are currently facing, Building Homes for Heroes remains on target to reach a ninth consecutive year in record home giftings, with a goal of gifting our 300th home by the end of next year. We’re honored to be working with such amazing partners like Volvo Construction Equipment, Discovery and Gold Rush to shine a bright light on our nation’s veterans who have served and sacrificed so much for our country.”
Habitat for Humanity works in local communities across all 50 states and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of affordable housing partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. While many planned home builds were temporarily put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization is encouraging virtual volunteerism in the meantime to help raise funds for future builds — something Volvo is doing its part to support through its $116,000 donation.
“We’re committed to helping Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Colleen Finn Ridenhour, Chief Development Officer for Habitat for Humanity International. “Support from our donors and partners like Volvo CE will help make this possible.”