Community comes together to raise over $430,000 to support affordable homeownership.
St. Petersburg, FL – On Friday, April 23rd, 2021, the community came together to support the Habitat mission at the sold out Havana Nights event presented by Crown Automotive. Paul’s Landing at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort transformed into a tropical evening under Havana lights. With safety protocols in mind, guests enjoyed live music, Cuban inspired cuisine, a mojito bar and hand rolled cigars.
The evening featured testimonials by two Habitat homeowners who shared their story and the impact the homeownership program made on their lives. Thanks to the support of Havana Nights sponsors and supporters, over $430,000 was raised to support affordable homeownership opportunities for deserving families.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, the funds raised at Havana Nights will support four more hardworking families have the opportunity to build a safe and affordable home. Homeowners Allison and Michelle shared their journey to stability and strength with attendees, and explained how the Habitat program positively impacted their lives and their children’s future.
Allison has been a homeowner for six months. She explained the impact having an affordable home makes to attendees. “I proudly stand before you today and tell you that my family is no longer struggling. We no longer rely on government assistance. Since becoming a homeowner I also have become a nurse. I am working full time as a hospice nurse and providing for my family. I have no debt in collections, no maxed out credit cards and I stick to my budget I learned in my Habitat classes. We are now out of poverty. We are now part of a new group of people known as homeowners. We made it.”
Michelle closed on her Habitat home in February 2021. Click here to watch and share her inspiring journey to homeownership.
Golden Hammer & Silver Nail Awards
Each year, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties recognizes a business or organization and an individual that has made a significant impact in the work of Habitat in our community through the Golden Hammer and Silver Nail Legacy Awards.
Over the last few years, the affiliate has recognized the Valspar Championship & Copperhead Charities, Raymond James, HSN, Bank of America, Raymond James Bank and Publix for their amazing support of the Habitat mission with the Golden Hammer Award. This year, Wells Fargo was recognized with the Golden Hammer Award. Wells Fargo, a loyal supporter of Habitat affiliates across the country, has moved the Habitat mission forward since their very first donation to our local affiliate in 2005. Since then, their team has participated in multiple team build days, volunteering on homes for local families.
Since the beginning of the partnership, Wells Fargo has donated over $625,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco, while also donating a dozen property lots, allowing 12 more families to have safe and affordable homes in our community. Despite challenges from the Pandemic, the company was able to award our affiliate $30,000 in support of two home builds in Saint Petersburg this year. This grant was provided through Wells Fargo Builds and is a part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $1 billion philanthropic commitment to create more housing affordability solutions by 2025. The partnership between Habitat and Wells Fargo provides opportunities for hardworking members of our community to secure stability for generations to come. Click here to view their award acceptance video.
The Silver Nail Legacy Award was created to recognize an individual or couple who supported Habitat over the years, and through their support, supported the advancement of the Habitat mission in our community. In previous years recipients have included Jeff & Judy Mitchell, Mr. George Glaros and Tony & Carol Griffith.
This year the affiliate recognized longtime friends of Habitat: Dan and Carolyn Stowers. Dan and Carolyn Stowers’ involvement with Habitat for Humanity spans over 30 years, with 20 of those years specifically at the affiliate in Pinellas and West Pasco. As a retired engineer, Dan has become an invaluable volunteer to the affiliate by solely providing engineering services to the construction team and working on permit plans for all home builds. Carolyn has assisted Dan in the design aspect of many home plans. A floor plan named “Carolyn” was named in her honor many years ago.
Both Dan and Carolyn’s serving hearts continue to help not just our local community, but Habitat affiliates around the world. They have traveled to Nicaragua, Thailand and Guatemala as part of Habitat’s Global Village Builds and they actively volunteer with their church on nationwide mission trips. Dan and Carolyn have helped to serve over 600 families in our community. The affiliate estimates that Dan is the largest individual donor because of his time volunteering his professional engineering services. Click here to view their award acceptance video.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has served over 875 families and individuals through its new home buyer and exterior repair programs using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. Candidates must demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat to invest 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that homeownership contributes to family stability, leading, in turn, to community stability. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their three ReStores, home improvement outlets where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, call (727) 536-4755 or visit www.habitatpwp.org.