Volunteering is a way of life for Kelli Martin and her group of friends.
They’ve donated their time to many organizations through the years. But, in 2014, when someone suggested that they participate in Women Build with Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County, they had no idea what a tradition it would become.
Women Build is Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s annual spring fundraising event that brings together hundreds of women in Central Florida. These women raise funds and walls, and show the strength of a group of women coming together with one purpose of building affordable housing in their community.
This May, nearly one hundred women spent their Friday and Saturday morning on the build site in our newest community in Silver Pines Pointe. They installed siding, painted, completed caulking tasks, and more, learning new skills along the way. During the Mother’s Day weekend event, volunteers recognized and wrote about the strong, inspiring women they admire on a display onsite.
This was Kelli and her friends’ sixth year participating in Women Build. However, due to schedule conflicts, they weren’t all able to volunteer together during the May weekend. But that didn’t stop the Pearls and Power Tools team! They came out to Silver Pines Pointe as a group a week early and had the chance to raise trusses for their build day.
“Every year, we learn new skills,” says Kelli. “We get something out of it, and we get to give back.”
She especially loves that, when volunteering with Habitat Orlando & Osceola, they get to see the tangible difference they’re making. Between seeing the progress of the home they work on and working alongside hard-working future homeowners on the build site, “We feel really lucky to be a part of it,” Kelli says.
Women Build volunteers work hard completing tasks on the build site during the event. But they also give of their time and resources before the event through fundraising or donating to support Habitat Orlando & Osceola. We’re often asked what we would need to build more affordable housing in our community, and one of the critical needs is financial support from generous donors and sponsors. We can’t accomplish this without these partners!
After six years of participating in Women Build, Kelli and her friends are no strangers to fundraising. Kelli admits – it wasn’t easy at first. The women started out by asking friends and family to support them. Their fundraising really took off when they came up with the idea for their annual Clear Pong tournament, hosted at Waitiki in Orlando. Attendees love the event, and some have even requested that it be held more than once each year.
Kelli’s fundraising advice to others? Find local businesses who are willing to host an event, partner and even donate proceeds. Be persistent in spreading the word about your event and the cause you’re working toward. And most of all, have fun!
Kelli recommends Women Build to anyone and everyone. “You’ll meet new friends, gain new skills, learn about a family in need that you’ll be able to help, and you’ll be able to directly see the results,” she says. “It’ll change your life.”
We’re grateful to all of our volunteers from this year’s Women Build, and we hope to see all of you for many years to come!
Thank you to all of our hard-working teams who fundraised for Women Build, and special thanks to each of our Women Build sponsors: PCL Construction, Wells Fargo, Appleton Creative, Orlando Health, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, NAWIC Builds, Paverscape Inc., Graham Leak Branding, Orlando Magic, Coverings, Bank of America, Keesee and Associates, and Mills & Nebraska.