Each year, the United Church of Marco Island celebrates Habitat month in February. Throughout the month, they ask members of their congregation to come together and donate in an effort to help Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.
This year, their goal was to raise $100,000.
By timing the donations to Habitat just right, the church not only met their goal, they ended up doubling it. The first installment of funds to Habitat was gifted in February during the organization’s annual dollar-for-dollar match, Give to the Max. The remaining funds were donated in honor of Habitat’s late CEO, Dr. Sam Durso, which means they also qualified for a match. Habitat Collier’s board of directors has pledged to match every dollar donated to the nonprofit in honor of Durso through the end of 2017. That brings the grand total of UCMI’s donation to $200,000.
“One of our core values at United Church is generosity toward our community. We believe Habitat for Humanity changes lives one house at a time,” Senior Pastor Mark Williams says. “Our scripture teaches us that heaven is a home. So when all of us at United Church partner with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those in need in our community–we’re helping to bring more heaven to earth.”
As a founding partnerof the Collier County Habitat for Humanity affiliate, UCMI has long been committed to the nonprofit’s mission to make sure everyone has a decent place to live. Over the past 39 years, UCMI has raised over $1.1 million, enough to build simple, decent homes for 30 families in Collier County.
“Each home has made a life-changing difference and each year United Church of Marco helps bring us a little closer to our goal,” says Habitat Collier Executive Director Lisa Lefkow.
In those 30 homes, Lefkow says a total of 51 adults and 60 children have had their lives changed as a result of their partnership with Habitat and UCMI. Today, those families are in much better circumstances than the ones they were in before they purchased their Habitat homes.
Throughout their 39 year long partnership, the church’s contributions have done more than simply help families purchase a safe and affordable place to live. UCMI has given those families the unique opportunity to grow and thrive. Families have expanded and children have gone off to school or the military and studied abroad. Some have become doctors and nurses, others are photographers and musicians and many have started families of their own.
The money donated by UCMI will fund the construction materials for four new homes for hardworking families in Naples.