POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of South Florida business leaders rolled up their sleeves and grabbed hammers and paintbrushes, as they helped some deserving families build their dream homes, thanks to Habitat for Humanity.
Every hit of the hammer and every nail that went into the roof of Lashicia Harris’ future home serves a significant purpose for her and her family, as she took one step closer to owning her first house.
“For me and my family, this is a dream come true,” said Harris.
Harris was on site in Pompano Beach with dozens of volunteers on Saturday, helping Habitat for Humanity of Broward County’s annual CEO Build.
“It’s something that my husband and I didn’t see happening right now,” said Harris.
But it is, in a big way.
Company leaders have teamed together with soon-to-be homeowners, as they put in intense sweat equity into these new builds.
“To come out here and really get dirty and do something that has such a significant impact on the community is just really great fun,” said Rita Case, president and CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group. “I so look forward to it every year.”
This is the fourth year CEOs have pitched in to help Habitat of Broward and the local workforce with affordable housing.
The need has never been greater. Habitat estimates nine out of 10 prospective Broward home hunters cannot afford to own a home.
“There is nowhere else in the country that has this type of demand,” said Nancy Robin, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Broward. “I have never felt more hopeful, and this is an economic issue as well as just an issue of the heart and our principles and basic values.”
But this build helps bridge that gap, bringing the community closer at the same time.
“I’ve built deeper relationships with our associates, our employees, through Habitat builds,” said Brent Burns, CEO of JM Family Enterprises. “You get to see them, you get to know them, get to know the homeowners, the impact that it has.”
WSVN a proud sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, helping to build more than 40 homes across South Florida.
Cameras showed 7News anchor Craig Stevens on site, Saturday, as well as station co-president and general manager Paul Magnes up on a roof and ready to work.
In all, 52 company leaders banded together, the largest group ever for this build. They have created some incredibly rewarding moments.
“To see those homeowners , I mean, it brings tears to my eyes, of joy, to see them so happy, so looking forward to the security that a home is going to bring them and their family,” said Case.
Eleven business leaders joined the fray for the first time this year. Longtime participants said this is something they would like to see happen more.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year, so anybody that is a CEO that wants to come and help out, you’ll get more out than you put in,” said Keith Koenig, chairman of City Furniture.
Harris and her husband have put in a lot of work for her three boys and daughter. She has put in the required 300 hours, then turned in to help her neighbors.
Harris said it hasn’t always been easy.
“Sometimes you kind of have those moments, it’s like nothing is going right, and then you come into a program like this, and you can feel the love from the other homeowners, from the volunteers. You can feel the love from the sponsors,” she said.
Sponsors like the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, who supported her home.
As the finishing touches on Harris’ home are almost finalized, her children could not resist trying to sneak a peek at a future their parents, these CEOs and Habitat for Humanity helped create.
“It’s the thought of how their faces are gonna be on that day of the dedication, where they get to go in and see their home and the work that the parents and everyone put in for them, is what, like, gets me,” she said.
Habitat for Humanity is currently in open enrollment through March 31.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami
Habitat for Humanity of Broward
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