Editor’s note: The volunteer photos used in this article come from Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s archive. They were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic affected our community. 

The Universal Orlando Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County work together toward a common mission: to make a difference in Central Florida.

The Foundation supports organizations and projects that take a proactive approach to community needs in the areas of education, children and families, and basic needs – leading them to a longtime partnership with Habitat Orlando & Osceola.

A team from Universal Orlando poses in front of a house with a Habitat sign.“Habitat Orlando & Osceola has provided the Universal Orlando Foundation a way to invest its dollars into worthy projects that have empowered both individuals and whole communities, as well as provided Universal Orlando Team Members an outlet for volunteerism and community connectedness,” said Diane O’Dell, Executive Director of the Universal Orlando Foundation. “Our relationship has become deep rooted through common goals.”

One of the Foundation’s main investments in Habitat Orlando & Osceola supported a Neighborhood Revitalization program. This major renovation project addressed housing repair needs, social issues and community development in the Greater Malibu Groves community.

“Through this project, Habitat Orlando & Osceola provided the basic needs required for safe homes and empowered residents to be catalysts for action and change toward improved health, safety and community pride,” O’Dell said.

More recently, Universal Orlando Foundation gave Habitat Orlando & Osceola emergency financial support to help the nonprofit address critical needs in the wake of COVID-19. This is a challenging time for our community, with many people in need of support and limited resources to help, O’Dell said. “Habitat Orlando & Osceola understands these needs and has strong existing relationships with our neighbors,” she said. “Investing COVID-19 relief funds into Habitat Orlando & Osceola meant that we could quickly provide direct support to families and help strengthen the community together.”

A man in a Universal Orlando shirt stands in a circle awaiting instruction.In addition, Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s volunteer program has given Universal Orlando team members rewarding experiences as they give back and connect to their community through different projects. “Universal Orlando Resort volunteers love to join Habitat Orlando & Osceola home builds and Neighborhood Revitalization projects, as they can see the direct impact of their hard work,” O’Dell said.

Habitat Orlando & Osceola puts effort into understanding the goals of their partner organizations, O’Dell said, adding that the nonprofit then works to create a partnership with common objectives for greater collective impact.

“One of the greatest values is the connections that Habitat makes and maintains throughout the community,” O’Dell said. “On top of impactful direct client services and the foundation they help establish for families, they bring other community resources together to create a stronger place for us all to call home.”

You can help more local families experience the peace and freedom of owning an affordable home. When you donate to Habitat Orlando & Osceola, every dollar helps us build homes and work toward a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live. You can make bring hope home through homeownership; please give today.