Betenbough Homes in Texas and Bryson Garbett, CEO of Garbett Homes in Salt Lake City, were recipients on Tuesday of the Hearthstone Humanitarian Award, which Builder magazine and Hearthstone, the California-based residential real estate investor, have given out annually since 2000 to builders for their philanthropic and charitable efforts.

Each builder receives $75,000. Betenbough is donating its award to two charities, The Children’s Home of Lubbock and Family Coaching; Garbett will donate its award to Foundation Escalera, an organization the builder founded 14 years ago that builds schools in impoverished areas.

Betenbough Homes, which is employee-owned, contributes between $1 million and $2 million per year to various charities, both in the U.S. and through African ministries. Ron Betenbough, the builder’s 72-year-old co-founder, upon receiving the award spoke about a “philosophy of generosity” that, if embraced by other companies and corporations, “could change the world; we could certainly change the United States.”

During the awards breakfast, held at the Hyde Room at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, a video filmed by one of Heathstone’s founding sponsors, Kohler Company, showed Escalera’s participation in the construction of a small high school in southern Mexico, which replaced a tiny water-logged shack that was serving as a school.

“I used to think that poverty is a cycle,” said Garbett, in his acceptance speech. “But it’s really a pit that [the poor] can’t get out of,” which is why he believes it’s important for companies like his to get involved in lending the less fortunate a helping hand.

For full stories about the companies' efforts, click here.

John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.

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