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Florida volunteers beat the heat for Habitat families

National Women Build Week: Orlando, Florida


More than 400 women volunteered 2,500 hours on five homes and raised over $100,000 for HFH of Greater Orlando Area.






Leading up to National Women Build Week, we held fundraisers and hosted a Lowe’s Women Build clinic, which got everyone excited to get onsite.

We kicked off the week with an opening ceremony on May 2 with refreshments sponsored by Universal Orlando. Minister La Tonya Woodruff opened with prayer, followed by remarks from steering committee co-chair Rhonda Rhodes, Lelia Allen with the City of Orlando Housing and Community Development, and Habitat staff Dee Danmeyer and Lynn Ivanek. We invited everyone participating in the week to attend and it was a very moving morning.

Forty-Five women representing Delta Air Lines, Aon Hewitt, GE Capital, Universal Orlando and Lockheed Martin volunteered on site on May 2. The ladies put up Hardy Board siding on the second story of our town home community, Stag Horn Villas. At first, the ladders were a bit intimidating, but after a few climbs up and down they all looked like pros!

On May 3, 60 more women, representing Aon Hewitt, Central Florida Realty Investors, Delta Air Lines, GE Capital and a few individuals, picked up where the other crew left off with the siding. Cool mornings turned into blustery afternoons with temperatures just above 90 degrees. That didn’t stop anyone from finishing the front of the five-unit building and making an impressive dent in the sides and back of the building. Homeowner Mitzie Charleston, a single mom of two, worked alongside our group and brought a real sense of ownership to the week.

May 4 was another warm day but that didn’t stop the ladies with Universal Orlando from digging water line trenches. Teams from Lowe’s, Movers and Shakers, SunTrust Bank and All Saints Church hung more siding. On Thursday through Saturday we will complete siding and move onto drywall!

By Saturday, more than 400 women will volunteer 2500 hours on 5 homes and have raised over $100,000! Thank you women of Orlando! Your compassion to serve others and give back has touched our hearts and our lives forever.

Lynn Fleming Ivanek is the director of development for HFH of Greater Orlando Area. Learn more about the work of HFH of Greater Orlando Area at