GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club Book Fairy Project started in 2004 and to date over 40,000 books have been donated to children in our community. They give books to schools, teachers, summer camps, waiting rooms and even distribute them in parades. The books that are donated are new and like new. Countryside High School Florida Future Educators have a book drive every year to keep the group supplied with books. The Countryside Design Class made beautiful stuffed owl pillows that all the little girls love to receive.

On June 3, 2017 GFWC gave books at their first Habitat for Humanity Dedication. The homeowner, Daniel Neris, soon after became a Habit Construction Supervisor. In January 2018 their sister GFWC club, the St. Petersburg Junior Woman’s Club joined the ladies of North Pinellas. North Pinellas Woman’s Club members attend the dedications in the north area of Pinellas County and the St. Petersburg Juniors women attend them in South Pinellas County.

Together the two groups have given over 1400 books to 86 families with a total of 205 children from June 2017 to date. These books have a market value well over $10,000 and the younger children also received stuffed animal characters.

The Habitat staff works with the groups to express the children’s interests so they can customize the book donation to each child and make reading more exciting for them. GFWC provide English/Spanish books for our bilingual families and have purchased books in English/Polish and English/Swahili to meet the interests of these diverse families.

Members love attending the Habitat for Humanity dedications and seeing the joy on the children’s faces when they see their books and toys on the kitchen counters.

"GFWC clubs started 75% of the nation’s libraries and have always supported literacy. Giving books to Habitat for Humanity families is very heartwarming to us and we are so glad that we partnered with this wonderful organization."

In a few shorts weeks the members of Hammers and Heels will dust off their hard hat, strap on a nail apron and start building the 5th Women’s Build for Tikeytia Walker and her children.

This dynamic group of women have been supporting Habitat Pinellas for 6 years through personal philanthropy and many hours of volunteering. In addition, all of the sponsorships on this year’s home come from the members companies and women owned businesses. Some matching corporate grant money comes to Habitat from the group which adds to their financial support. During the year members do fun activities around Pinellas to stay in touch with one another.

We cannot thank the members of Hammers and Heels enough for all they contribute to the Habitat mission and specifically the women’s build. Please join us for a kick-off party on February 12th at 5:30 PM. Come meet the family and join the fun. For more information please contact Pam Ora at PORA@HabitatPinellas.org.

Our Donor Spotlight shines bright on Denise Peske. She became aware of Habitat Pinellas through her career with Cox Lumber Co. and currently Tibbetts Lumber. She started with Cox Lumber in 1996 doing credit collections. She moved to the Cayman Islands with Cox Lumber in 2006 to be their Purchasing Manager.  When Denise returned to Florida in 2014 her new role with Tibbetts was the HR Manager. She is now in outside sales with Tibbetts and working on her business degree at Capella University.

She knew upon her return to Pinellas County that she would volunteer and support Habitat Pinellas. Denise is a founding member of the Habitat women’s group “Hammers and Heels”.  Every year she organizes the ladies group called Team Tibbetts to work on the Women’s Build. Denise says, “It is emotionally powerful and fulfilling to be a part of the group of women who are helping another woman and her family obtain the dream of home ownership. Each year I look forward to seeing the homeowners from previous years and it is incredible how much their lives change for the better because of Habitat.”

In addition to the women’s build she facilitates the Tibbetts sponsorships for Golfing Fore Habitat and Habitat’s Blueprint Gala which she attends every year with her team. She also attends the Community Builders Breakfast and invites guests to join her to learn more about Habitat.  Denise has a busy life with her volunteer work with ALPHA House, a full time sales position and college but she makes time to support Habitat in many ways. Habitat Pinellas is grateful to have donors like Denise Peske supporting the Habitat mission.

Marc and Terry Banning owners of Banning Lumber and Millwork learned about Habitat Pinellas from a customer that was also a volunteer at Habitat. They learned about the Habitat mission and have been supporting with donated building materials and generous financial contributions since the early 90’s.


Terry learned about the women’s giving circle, “Hammer and Heels” from a friend and she was intrigued. She wanted to give back to her community through the group and Marc encourage her to get involved. Terry explains that “it has been the most positive and rewarding hands- on experience from meeting the family and working side-by-side with them, to the dedication day when they get their keys. It is an emotional and rewarding journey from start to finish.”


Marc Banning was surprised to learn there was no men’s group like “Hammers and Heels”. He discussed it with Habitat staff and was instrumental in starting the men’s group, “Hunks with Hammers”. The men’s group is halfway to raising enough funds to build the first men’s build in 2019. Marc says fundraising has probably been the most challenging process but he is determined to complete the first home for a single dad. Marc and Terry feel that affordable housing is a huge need in Pinellas County and Habitat is the way to help. The Banning’s want to thank their family and friends who contributed $3,000 for Terry’s birthday fundraiser to support Habitat Pinellas.


For more information on Habitat’s giving circle please contact Pam Ora at POra@HabitatPinellas.org.

 

Bankers Financial is an organization that believes in creating a positive impact on both our environment and our local community. This is evident through the support they have shown Habitat Pinellas. In May of 2018, Bankers Financial handed over the keys to the Duterne family – their second sponsored home, and they aren’t stopping there. In early 2019 Bankers will be sponsoring a third home, changing the lives of yet another family right here in Pinellas County.

To date, this organization has supported our local affiliate with over $126,000 and 1170 volunteer hours from staff and management. We are incredibly thankful for this partnership.

To get your business involved, please contact VP of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing, Alison Riley at ariley@habitatpinellas.org or (727)536-4755 ext 215.

 

Doug and Gwen Campbell became familiar with Habitat about 20 years ago through Doug’s former job. Before entering into the real estate industry, Doug was in a food service training position. He was able to get local restaurants to donate lunch that he and Gwen delivered to Habitat job sites. The Campbell's got reacquainted with Habitat Pinellas in 2017 by joining Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Dunedin North at the annual Community Builders Breakfast. At the breakfast they were inspired to contribute $100 from every real estate transaction they complete. They joined the Community Builders Society by making a three year pledge. They are paying it off early and continue to support with memberships in Hammers & Heels and Hunks with Hammers.

One day while volunteering on 2 job sites in Garden Trail they had the opportunity to witness a homeowner’s dedication. Gwen mentioned that she sells houses all the time but to see someone work so hard to receive their keys brought tears to her eyes. Doug and Gwen understand the importance of raising children in a safe and secure home. They also understand the importance of the classes and sweat equity that homeowner candidates are required to do in order to get the keys to their home.

The Campbell's are generous with their time, talent, and treasure. In addition to Habitat Pinellas they volunteer with Keller Williams Red Day, KW Kids Can and their church, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Gwen said “People’s hearts are good”. Habitat can say “The Campbell's hearts are good”.

To get your business involved, please contact VP of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing, Alison Riley at ariley@habitatpinellas.org or 727-536-4755 ext 215.

The home of Avia Bowen and her two sons marked the 6th Habitat home sponsored by Clearwater Toyota. Present at the home dedication on June 12, 2018 was Service Manager, Seth Bronson and General Manager, Steven Peine. Each took a moment to speak on behalf of the organization as they handed over the keys to the Bowen Family’s new home, a home that they themselves helped build.

This organization has supported our local affiliate with over $440,000 and well over 1200 volunteer hours from staff and management. Clearwater Toyota has made a commitment to our community to maintain a high level of involvement, striving to make Pinellas County stronger. We are incredibly thankful for this lasting partnership.

To get your business involved, please contact VP of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing, Alison Riley at ariley@habitatpinellas.org or 727-536-4755 ext 215.