Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka Women Build 2023 Leaderboard
- 1 Susan Rich $11,930.00 raised
- 2 Rose Castano $10,000.00 raised
- 3 Look Local Magazine - Carla Hogan $3,270.00 raised
- 4 Denise McKinley $3,010.00 raised
- 5 Penny Seater $3,000.00 raised
- 1 OFB Community Builders $45,140.00 raised
- 2 WONDROUS WOMEN Sponsored by LOOK LOCAL MAGAZINE $24,375.75 raised
- 3 FINFROCK $19,194.42 raised
- 4 BCC Beauties $10,125.00 raised
- 5 Taurus Investment Holdings, LLC $10,075.00 raised
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What is Women Build?
Girls play house. Women build them!
Women Build is a special experience that enables women (and some men!) to DIRECTLY help other women and families in Seminole County and Apopka as they rewrite their future. You will not only be taking on the challenge of raising dollars to support the construction and sale of affordable homes for hardworking neighbors, but YOU will actually help BUILD them!
This is the 10th year that our grassroots teams of strong, diverse, and passionate women - along with corporate sponsor teams and Future Homebuyers - will partner with Habitat Seminole-Apopka to construct forever homes. This year’s teams will be funding and building two homes on Tangerine Ave. in Sanford, which will be purchased by Future Homebuyers Mary Hawkins and Carletha & Eugene Nathan. Thank you for contributing your time, talent and treasure to help build homes, communities and HOPE!
Meet our Future Homebuyers
Mary Hawkins – Women Build 2023 Future Homebuyer
Mary Hawkins had a dream. Not only did she want to be a homeowner, but she wanted to BUILD her own home. Having a learning disability that has affected her capacity to read and write, working extra-hard to succeed because of it, and watching housing prices go “sky high,” she believed it was impossible to realize that two-fold dream.
Mary, though, is smart and persistent. Those strengths, a very supportive friend, and a Facebook post, have helped the trajectory of her life to change! She obtained her long-awaited high school diploma, attended a construction trades job fair, talked with a major mechanical contractor, and started a plumbing apprenticeship there in May 2019. She’s been in work Heaven and will graduate in May 2023!
Mary’s already won a coveted award from the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and has installed the exterior plumbing for a Habitat house. To her, the award felt “like an Oscar” and she “wished” to do more on the house.
Talk about a wish – and a dream - come true! She IS building her own Habitat home and others, now that she’s a Habitat Seminole-Apopka Future Homebuyer! (Her sister’s Facebook post encouraged her to apply for her Habitat journey, which began in February 2022.)
“Words can’t describe how I feel,” she says. “I’m excited to have Women Build constructing my house because I’m a WOMAN IN CONSTRUCTION! That’s what we women stand for – we’re VERY powerful!”
That woman power extends beyond the desire to build and buy her house. Mary wants to be a part of building up her entire community and truly hopes to “give back” to the youth. Come ask her how!
Carletha and Eugene Nathan – Women Build 2023 Future Homebuyer
As Carletha and Eugene (Gene) Nathan recount their history of being “ripped off” when trying to buy a house, we can’t help but feel the pain. That pain has now turned to joy and disbelief as they work towards buying their forever home.
The Nathans have been together for 40 years. They’ve raised five children, are the proud grandparents of 20 and the great-grandparents of six! Their dream of homeownership has been front and center for most of those years.
Way back when they were both working and raising their family, they moved into a “rent to own” property. But Carletha started to get seizures and their world began to turn upside down. She couldn’t work and was put on expensive medication. Gene had to cut his work hours to be her rock; they moved into a rental property and then relocated from Orlando to Sanford, where Eugene’s mom was able to check on Carletha while he worked.
Such was their saga of long-term rentals, only the most recent of which was a good experience. Carletha’s health had stabilized to the point that, after 18 years, she began working part-time in an elementary school cafeteria. Gene’s health and eyes, though, had deteriorated and he could no longer see. Surgery improved this, but he has been unable to work. Life turned 180 degrees and SHE became HIS rock these past 18 years.
Still bent on buying, they put down money for a “first-time homebuyer” program, went to a class, got a fancy certificate, and…NOTHING! It was a scam, as were several other “opportunities.” “Everything we think is legit, we end up getting bamboozled,” says Gene.
No wonder Carletha threw out the Habitat Seminole-Apopka postcard when it came in the mail. But, when a second card came, she thought someone above might be telling her something. The couple applied, got their finances in order, and were accepted into our Homebuyers Program. Still doubting, they asked a friend if she’s, “sure they’re for real?” The friend - a Habitat homeowner – assured them the program was “for real.” They began their journey in November 2021.
How do they feel now? “This is heaven-sent. You guys are legit, and we stand behind you like you stand behind us,” says Gene. “I feel overwhelmed and joyful,” adds Carletha. “FINALLY, we’ll own a house!”
Our Newest Participants
- Joanna Nouragas $50.00 raised
- Cynthia M Luedke $200.00 raised
- Michelle Rhea $50.00 raised
- MF Mollie Furrie $0.00 raised
- AE Alicen Eichensehr $10.00 raised
- CH Cathy Hadley $0.00 raised
- EE Emilie Edde $0.00 raised
- DM Denise McKinley $3,010.00 raised
- WC Will Craddock $0.00 raised
- AC Adrienne Craddock $0.00 raised