Florida Donations

A Habitat Moment: Turner Family

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Take a glance into a Habitat Moment: Jim and Jacqueline Turner* are the parents of three young children. Along with facing day-to-day challenges such as having enough money for food and clean clothes, they face the overwhelming responsibility of providing their children with a safe and decent home. The Turner’s recently lived in a small trailer with thick mold infested in the walls and roof. Because of these conditions and the absence of a heater in the winter months, their 2-year-old, 1-year-old, and 8-month-old sons were constantly sick. A sinking roof and front-door break in also caused serious threats to the safety of their family.  After receiving no assistance from the landlord, they had no other choice but to move out.

Because of a brain injury in his early childhood, Jim is paralyzed on one side of his body, making it very difficult to find steady employment. The Turners have been able survive by working odd jobs and simply going without the enjoyments many other families have. Deciding to make a solid step toward a brighter future for their family, the Turners came to Habitat for Humanity. Since then they have been hard at work completing hours of sweat equity that will eventually give them a safe and clean place to call home.

Habitat for Humanity helps real people who have real needs make a real change in their future by instilling a sense of independence and pride. Habitat aims to partner with hard-working families like the Turners who are ready to take the step beyond “just getting by” to “getting better.” Many families in Osceola County are ready and waiting to make that step. Through generous community donations, corporate sponsorships and event attendance, you can help us help this family and many others. There is no such thing as doing too little. Visit Habitatosceola.org for more information.

*Names have been changed for the safety of the family

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A New Begining for Meredith

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The individual’s name in this story has been changed for protection.

The bell chimed lightly as she opened the door and walked into the ReStore. It was a happy sound that instilled hope for a new beginning. It was a hope she tried her best to believe but the scars from the past still haunted her trust. As a victim of domestic violence, Meredith was used to disappointment.

When Meredith walked into my office with a black and blue eye, she reassured me that she had sought assistance from a domestic violence shelter. They were able to provide her with a home, but no furniture. She explained to me that the little money she receives from social security is enough to pay her rent but there is not enough left over to even turn her electricity on, let alone purchase a couch, table, or chairs. She shared that her deepest desire was to have a fresh start and live her life in peace with her daughters and grandchildren.  But livelihood necessities continued to stand in her way.

Today was not going to be another day of disappointment for Meredith. The Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County ReStore was able to provide her with the essentials for a safe and decent living environment. Through the generous donations of community members and local businesses, our store was able to supply Meredith with a couch and loveseat, a small refrigerator, interior light fixtures, and a laundry hamper and detergent. Our ReStore volunteers were also able to load her new furniture in our truck and deliver it to her apartment free of charge.

When Meredith walked into our store that day, she had very little faith for a better future, but when she left she not only had material possessions to begin building a life upon, but a renewed sense of hope and the confidence to make a fresh start.

Meredith’s story is one of many ways we seek to give a hand up to individuals and families in Osceola County. Please consider donating your retired furniture, appliances, time, or finances to help us further our mission in providing every person with a safe and decent place to call home.

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Representatives from Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County attend national conference

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Amanda Halle                                                            

Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County                 



Representatives from Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County attend national conference

What Will You Build?’ conference aims to equip Habitat affiliate leadership and staff to fulfill Habitat’s mission


Kissimmee, FL, March 23, 2011 – Leaders from Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County will be among 2,000 participants from the U.S. and around the world that will attend Habitat for Humanity International’s national conference March 23-25. The theme of this year’s national conference is “What Will You Build?”

Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County will take part in this year’s conference to learn more about maximizing its efforts to serve more families in need and revitalize neighborhoods. 

“We are excited to attend this year’s national conference and have the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers who are working across the country to develop more affordable housing opportunities with hardworking families,” said Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County Executive Director, Pat Filippone. “The national conference allows Habitat affiliates to gather take part in informative workshops and networking opportunities.”

Held every two years, national conferences include keynote speakers, workshops covering all aspects of affiliate operations and ample time for affiliate networking.  The 2011 national conference in Atlanta, Ga., includes 163 workshops and 75 exhibitors.

Some of this year’s guest speakers include Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International; Claude Jeudy, national director of Habitat Haiti; Marcus Buckingham, New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker; Suzanne Bates, executive coach and author; and Bill Hybels, inspirational speaker and senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church.



About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat.org.

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12 Homes Before 2012

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Everyone has heard the saying, “Great things come in small packages.”

Well not so different is another quote. Margaret Mead said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world.” This quote can be very inspirational to small, locally run nonprofits working to tackle a problem way beyond their grasp. However, this quote can also be misleading. Just because a small group of people may be able to initiate change in our world, it surely doesn’t happen because they keep to themselves and tackle it on their own. And even if you do believe that a small group of people can change our world that doesn’t mean you are off the hook because they don’t need your help. No, not at all. What it means is that it only takes a small group of people who, if done correctly, can ignite a fire that will move through thousands, millions, billions of people and make our world a better place.

Need an example of this? Take a look through a History book. Martin Luther King Jr. was ONE man who had a dream. He shared that dream and changed the course of history forever. Not unlike Dr. King, a man by the name of Millard Fuller had a vision of “partnership housing” in order to provide safe and decent shelter for every human being. Millard founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976 and since then has served over 2 million people worldwide.

Habitat Osceola is learning from these leaders and taking charge in the new year. Since our founding in 1997 we have built 12 homes, but this year we are going to double that number. We are going to build or renovate 12 homes before 2012 and we need your help. We are a small group of passionate people hoping to light a fire beneath this community. Unity. It is right there inside the word community. Homelessness and hunger are on the rise in this county but it can be stopped if we understand the importance of serving and taking care of each other.

Help us put at least 12 families into homes this year so that they may grow and flourish to all God intends. Do whatever you can. Whether it is $5 or $50,000, it makes a difference. We have the properties and there is no shortage of hard-working, yet hurting families in this county. All we need are the funds to cover construction costs. Help us build 12 Homes Before 2012 and take one big step toward making our community better for everyone.

Donate at http://habitatosceola.org/donate.php

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New Year, New Community, New You

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You make one every year. Whether it is to lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, or eat more vegetables, a new year’s resolution is made.  Every new year we choose something to “change” about ourselves in order to be a “better person.” And every year, come February or March, that resolution slowly melts away with the warming temperatures.  Maybe the reason our committments die out after a few months is because we are going about this “change” in a completely wrong way. The American lifestyle, being as individualistic as is it, can lead us to constantly be thinking about “ME,” “MYSELF,” and “I,” when the changes we wish to see in ourselves can most often times be found by thinking about “OTHERS.” 

If you think about the big moments that shaped your life and who you are as a person, they probably had little to do with “YOU.” They might have been church mission trips, helping out a friend during a hard time, or having a friend help you. The action of giving and receiving love is one that can truly change a person’s soul and there are many people in this world who are waiting and needing to be “changed by love.”

So you still want to lose weight or quit smoking this year? Do it! But also try adding volunteering to your resolution list. There are hundreds of organization in and around Osceola County that would love your helping hands and trade skills. No time to volunteer? Try committing to an ongoing donation. Ten dollars a month can go a long way to help those in need but will only get you two drinks at Starbucks.

Here at Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County we are making some new year’s resolutions of our own. In 2011 we aim to be more visual in the community. We want all of our county residents to know who we are, where we are, and what we do. We also plan to better understand the needs of our community by taking the time to conduct research. And we have set the goal to put 20 deserving families into Habitat homes in the coming year, but we will need your help to do it!

If you are looking to make a new year’s resolution that will “change” you on the inside, instead of making a resolution for yourself, make a resolution for your community. Whether it be to help children, elderly, disabled, or animals, choose your passion and begin to feel the act of giving back fulfill your life in ways you never imagined. So what are you waiting for? This year don’t stress over a senseless diet.  Choose a resolution that will last all year and will change your life and the lives of those around you.

Call 407-343-1900 to speak with our volunteer coordinator about how you can give back to Osceola County with Habitat!

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A Brush With Kindness

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A Brush with Kindness
Do you or a neighbor need A Brush with Kindness?

A Brush with Kindness is a program that helps preserve homeownership by partnering with homeowners struggling to restore and maintain a safe and decent place to live. When basic expenses exceed income month after month, home maintenance is the usual casualty. Years of deferred maintenance can cause a downward spiral of home deterioration and unsafe living conditions.

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