Kaiser Employees Volunteer to Build Homes in Stockton on MLK Day

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Dozens of volunteers spent their Martin Luther King, Jr. Day giving back. Many people rolled up their sleeves and hammered away at new fencing that will be part of a new Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County subdivision in Stockton.

On a corner of Glenhaven Lane in Stockton, it's not just a fence that's taking shape, it's a show of dozens of Kaiser Permanente doctors and employees dedicating a day off to those in need.

“Just seeing the excitement after this is completed, and just seeing the family’s faces, you know, they’re in a home,” Ana Rios, a volunteer and Kaiser employee, said.

For the past 12 years, Kaiser employees have volunteered on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This was their first year with Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County.

“This is a way for us to give back in a way that is very tangible and visible,” Deborah Friberg, the senior vice president and area manager in the Central Valley said.

For Rios, the work feels very personal.

“I know how it is not to have a lot, and as an adult being able to own your own home,” Ana Rios said.

She said her father was a single parent and had to work hard to provide for her and her three sisters.

"My dad was a strong person that… do what he had to do,” she said.

Now, as a mother with her own home, Rios has passed down that sense of community and gratitude to her 14-year-old daughter, Ariana.

“My time to give back 'cause I already have everything that I want. Like, I have a beautiful family, a house,” the teen girl said.

A hand to paint, one to drill, all ways of giving back and spending time together.

“It’s a great feeling,” Ana Rios said.

"It makes me feel wonderful like helping those people out,” the teen said

Habitat for Humanity said they hope to build nine more homes on Glenhaven Lane by the end of the year.

Kaiser added that they have donated $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity that will go toward building more homes.

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