CLEARWATER, FL – May 6, 2014 –Chelsea Matthew celebrated Mother’s Day a little early this year after receiving the key to her new Habitat Pinellas home in St. Petersburg at the May 3rd morning dedication. With her young son at her side, Matthew tearfully told family, friends and Habitat supporters how she has long dreamed of having a home with a yard where her four-year-old son could safely play.
“We now have a place we can truly call home,” said Matthew. “My child will have a backyard to play in and a safe place to grow up.”
The house, located on 26th Avenue North, was built by Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and its volunteers and was sponsored by Raymond James Financial. Raymond James Investment Advisors Division president Bill Van Law presented the key to Matthew and her son. Van Law was among many Raymond James employees who volunteered nearly 400 hours to help build the Matthew home over the last 10 weeks, helping in nearly every phase of construction from raising roof trusses and framing to painting and landscaping. Matthew, a fulltime bank teller and student, worked alongside hundreds of volunteers during the build to fulfill her 250 “sweat equity” hours required by the Habitat program. She also completed 14 required Habitat homeowner classes.
Since 2005, Raymond James employees have given more than 3,000 volunteer hours building Habitat Pinellas homes and the company has contributed nearly $350,000 to the nonprofit. To date, Raymond James Financial has sponsored five Habitat Pinellas homes.
Habitat Pinellas recently recognized Raymond James for its ongoing support of the nonprofit’s affordable homeownership program with its annual “Habitat Partner of the Year” Golden Hammer Award.
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