HarenLaughlin Construction has an 84-year history of giving back to the community—a legacy the third-generation Kansas City-based general contractor is very proud of. For the Haren family, it’s all about reciprocating the graciousness the community has shown them since they started developing and building commercial properties in 1932.

HarenLaughlin Construction strives to organize a day of service each spring and fall, juggling busy crews and preparing well in advance with sign-up boards and email reminders so as many of the company’s 72 employees can participate as possible.

“Participating in service days reminds everyone they have the ability to change someone’s day or life. Every bit counts,” says Danny Wastler, HarenLaughlin’s director of business development and marketing. “It is important to work for a company that sees community service as a priority. It is not just about business and being successful, but also knowing how to give back to others who are not as fortunate and being able to help using our trade of work.”

Habitat for Humanity is a perfect fit. “Habitat gives the opportunity for our workers to shine,” Wastler says. “We make sure they have an ample amount of materials to work through a whole day, knowing our staff will move faster than a typical group would.”

Employees also have donated Christmas gifts to Toys for Tots, as well as stuffed backpacks for third-world countries. These opportunities are especially important to non-field staff, who might not feel as useful on a Habitat project but still want to give back.

“We have enjoyed building relationships with the people of these organizations, and we want to remain loyal and committed to them,” Wastler says.

That loyalty extends to employees, who can buy ownership in the company through a shareholder program, keeping turnover very low. “HarenLaughlin Construction has created an incredible and enjoyable work environment for all employees in our home office and on each jobsite to continue to express our company culture,” Wastler says.

Joanna Masterson is senior editor of Construction Executive. For more information, email masterson@abc.org or follow @ConstructionMag.