The BKD Foundation will join the Joplin, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., Habitat for Humanity (THFH) teams to participate in the Ten for Joplin project, aiming to erect 10 new homes for residents displaced by the devastating tornado last May.

The firm’s charitable arm will also partner with the city of Joplin and other local businesses in an effort to complete the project in 16 days, starting Thursday, with the goal of placing the low-income families in their new houses by Thanksgiving.

“BKD planted its roots in Joplin some 90 years ago, and the firm is committed to rebuilding this community,” BKD Managing Partner John Wanamaker said in a statement. “The BKD Foundation is excited about sponsoring a home through the Ten for Joplin and has already pledged more than $100,000 to the United Way for the disaster relief effort.”

Community leaders announced the Ten for Joplin project at a Sept. 8 news conference on the site of one of the new homes, hoping to spur other volunteer-driven rebuilding efforts.

“This project was unanimously approved by the THFH board of directors,” said Jeff Ronsse, a senior manager in BKD’s Tulsa office who chairs the board. “We felt we could have an immediate impact on the rebuilding efforts. While the choice we made was outside our current goals, we refused to be bystanders.”

Habitat Humanity has currently raised $500,000 of the $800,000—plus in-kind gifts—it needs. The nonprofit housing organization also needs to recruit 3,000 volunteers for the build.

The BKD Foundation is sponsoring one of the homes with $600,000 committed by foundation committees in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas, as well as providing volunteers and helping Habitat for Humanity sign up more.

“The BKD Foundation’s mission is to enrich communities through financial support and volunteerism, and the Ten for Joplin project is a perfect fit,” said Todd Lisle, managing partner of BKD’s Oklahoma offices. “Our employees stand ready to help our friends and neighbors in Joplin.”

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