Sandi Heaney (South Bend) began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity almost 20 years ago when Crowe’s South Bend, Ind., office hosted a building blitz with one of its clients. “I was immediately hooked,” Sandi said about Habitat, an organization that builds affordable housing for low to very low-income families. “My dad, who passed away when I was 14, was a contractor. Volunteering with Habitat provides me with a bit of a connection to him. I also enjoy working alongside the families who we partner with to build their homes. They are hardworking families seeking a hand up, not a hand out, and this level of involvement has kept me coming back.” Sandi has served as co-chair of Habitat’s Women Build committee. She’s also a member of the Mid-Week Crew, a team of regular volunteers who participate in builds whenever they are available.
Recently, Sandi, along with retired Crowe partner Dave Jarrett, helped secured funding from the Crowe Foundation and the South Bend office to be a sponsor of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2018. The funding allowed Crowe to send 20 volunteers to participate in the weeklong event, which included Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, David Letterman, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. During the event, they began construction on 23 homes in Mishawaka, a suburb of South Bend. All homes will be completed by December 31, 2018. In volunteering with Habitat, Sandi feels she has received so much more than she’s given. “Despite a very poor childhood, I have been blessed in my life. When we were in need, people reached out to help and without their contributions, my life might be very different today,” said Sandi. “I needed to give some of that back. In doing so, I’ve gained skills, confidence and a feeling of purpose. I’ve also created memories and friendships all while helping deserving families gain a hand up in life.”