Ohio mom becomes first-time homeowner through MPC’s Habitat for Humanity project

Community News

Findlay, Ohio, Foundation

  • Autumn Bennington is the proud owner of a new home in Findlay, Ohio, thanks to some help from Habitat for Humanity and Marathon Petroleum.
  • Bennington began her journey with Habitat for Humanity Findlay/Hancock County two years before receiving keys to her home and spent numerous hours participating in financial education and working alongside employee volunteers on the project.
  • MPC provided $100,000 to sponsor the home build and 258 people volunteered a combined 1,412 hours on the project.
  • Watch a timelapse video of the home being built.

It was an emotional moment for first-time homeowner Autumn Bennington when Maryann Mannen, EVP and CFO at Marathon Petroleum, handed her the keys to a new home in September. Bennington, the single mother of 3-year-old Briella, works at Sports Clips in Findlay, Ohio. She began her journey with Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County nearly two years ago.

MPC employee volunteers with Autumn Bennington raising the first wall of Autumn's new home.

Knowing that Bennington was struggling to make ends meet, a friend and a co-worker encouraged her to apply with Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program. She was selected as a partner family for House #56, which was funded by Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC). To qualify, Habitat homeowners must volunteer 400 hours of sweat equity with Habitat, including participating in financial education from the Habitat Financial Opportunity Center. For six weeks, Bennington was among hundreds of volunteers from MPC who helped build the home. She also received ongoing support from her family advocates Andrea Roth, an HR Manager at MPC, and Linda Wolery, retired from MPC. They met monthly to discuss Bennington’s budget, encourage her saving goals and provide homeownership education. Roth is on the Family Services Committee with Habitat and volunteered to work with partner families.

MPC employee volunteers with Autumn Bennington (center) begin framing the house.

“What impressed me most about Autumn was her enthusiasm and optimism,” said Roth. “Even when her car would break down or she had unexpected expenses, she continued to remain focused on her goal of being the first one in her family to own a house. She wanted to provide her daughter with a safe, clean and affordable home with a yard for the four gardens her daughter wanted and a place for their dog to play.”

MPC employees volunteered in August and September to help build MPC’s first fully sponsored home for Habitat for Humanity of Hancock County. Employees and crew leaders divided efforts into 4-hour shifts to perform various work from hanging doors to painting and everything in between. There were 258 people who volunteered a combined 1,412 hours on the project. MPC provided $100,000 to sponsor the home build. At the home dedication ceremony in September, Bennington thanked Habitat, MPC, the volunteers and her friends and family for their time and support during the entire process.

Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County’s House #56 was funded by MPC.

“Being a part of the build made me feel like I wasn’t just buying a home, but I was earning it,” said Bennington. “So many memories have already been made. It was an experience that honestly Briella and I will never be able to forget.”

MPC employees were there for the groundbreaking, the wall raising and the home dedication. Through it all, the build served as a reminder of MPC’s commitment to making our communities stronger, safer and thriving places. 

Chris Madaras, MPC employee, putting the final touches on electrical in Autumn Bennington's newly built home.
Volunteers paint the garage at the new home.

“Working with Autumn and Briella and being able to champion her efforts and encourage her through this process has been equally rewarding,” said Roth. “I encourage everyone to consider your passion and to find a way to give, whether it is to Habitat or another organization. Together we can build a better place to live, work and play when we volunteer in our communities.”

MPC has been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Hancock County for more than 20 years. MPC helped build House #6 in 2002 and continues to support the organization financially and through volunteer opportunities.

Trevor Springer, Habitat for Humanity’s Construction Manager, works with MPC employee volunteer Elise Hanley.

“We are deeply grateful to Habitat for Humanity for the critical work they do. This build offered MPC the chance to strengthen the resiliency of our community, help address basic needs and create an opportunity for economic vitality,” said Maryann Mannen, EVP and CFO at MPC.  

Autumn Bennington and daughter Briella in the kitchen of their new home.

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