I am heartbroken that our friends and neighbors were affected by Hurricane Irma. In the days before the storm, the Orlando community rallied together. Just like you, our Habitat families joined one another to board windows, clear yards, secure properties, and made sure everyone had a safe place to be.

As our Habitat families found safety inside their homes, we prayed for the best possible outcome, not knowing what the aftermath of this record-breaking storm would bring. Even with the necessary precautions and preparations, Irma was a storm with a magnitude never before seen. Unfortunately, many of our friends and neighbors did not make it through unscathed. As you drive through familiar streets, you now notice homes with missing roofs, trees through windows, and homes with severe water damage. We hope and pray that you and your family were among those who made it through safe and sound. 

Our team has started assessing Habitat neighborhoods and homes around the county and found that our community has already begun to come together to help clear debris, fix broken fences, and simply offer a helping hand to one another in this time of need. While there is still plenty of work to do, Habitat families are doing it together.

Habitat homes have been life-changing for our families and the thought of losing something they have worked so hard for was devastating. Brenda, a Habitat homeowner sent me a note that really struck a chord. You’ll find a portion of it below.

“I sat in my kitchen and cried thinking of where I lived before Habitat. My apartment had mold on the walls and I always felt unsafe letting my children play outside. As I hugged my children tightly, I thought of all the other mothers in Orlando that were not as lucky as my family. We said a prayer for our neighbors in the old apartment  praying that one day, they could be just like us and live in a strong and well-built home.” 

I hope you will consider donating today, allowing more families, like Brenda’s, to move from truly inadequate housing to safe and secure homes. Please visit the button below this letter where you can contribute to our “Helping Hands Fund.” In times like these, we are especially grateful for your support.

Thank you in advance for providing a helping hand to your Orange County neighbors! With your generosity, we are working towards the vision of the day when every family in our community has a safe and secure place to live.

With sincere gratitude,

Catherine Steck McManus                 
President and CEO