West Orange Habitat for Humanity

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West Orange Habitat’s Inaugural Strong Women Build event will take place May 13th from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm with 40 high-profile community women building with a Habitat partner, Kelly Arbogast, a single disabled mother of 2 at her new home located at 404 W. Henschen Avenue, Oakland, Florida in honor of Mothers Day.

The West Orange Women Build Team consists of 40 high profile, mid-upper management level women in the community who have been funding and building as part of the National Women Build initiative, which invites women to fundraise and devote at least one day to build a home, helping families build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.  The national program began nine years ago and since then more than 98,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered.  It is traditionally scheduled for the week before Mother’s Day and is meant to spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by women.

Saturday, May 13th Build Day will begin promptly at 8:30 am and will continue to 2:00 pm. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 am led by Honorary Chair, Representative Kamia Brown (Fl House District 45) for the 40 women participants and community members, supporters, board members and local businesses and sponsors.

New homeowner Kelly Arbogast will tell her story which will be captured with photos along with the inaugural team in matching tees and pink hard hats they have earned through funding and building.

The women will build alongside Kelly Arbogast, a single disabled mom with two sons, age 12 and 14. Kelly has battled Multiple Sclerosis for many years.  When Kelly qualified and were selected for Habitat homeownership, she and her family were living in a small substandard apartment with rent that amounted to nearly 70% of her income. When she moves into her new home in Oakland, her sons will have their own rooms and the mortgage will be less than 25% of her income.

Chairs for the West Orange event are Liz Jennings and Leah Thompson of Collective Kindness and Sherri Law.  Honorary Chair is Florida House of Representatives Kamia Brown, District 45, Ocoee. Representative Brown will build with the group.

Corporate sponsors for the event are Seacoast Bank and Tijuana Flats.

The West Orange Habitat for Humanity works to provide affordable housing to low income families in the West Orange community and each family must demonstrate a housing need, be willing to partner by investing 300 sweat equity volunteer hours and repay a no-interest mortgage held by West Orange Habitat.

West Orange Habitat, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, buys land or receives it through donations and manages the construction of the homes.  It raises funds through the individuals, corporations and churches. The Habitat ReStore is located on West Colonial Drive in Winter Garden.   West Orange Habitat has built 32 homes and renovated 25 in the community.

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