Community volunteers and Veterans in the Naples, Florida area came together this past weekend through Habitat for Humanity of Collier County to build a home for a veteran.
The 30 to 40 volunteers represented local organizations including the Ave Maria School of Law, Trinity by-the-Cove Episcopal Church and the Veterans Council of Collier County to help Army veteran Summer Galvan build her new home.
Before this past weekend, Galvan lived in a trailer in Estero, Florida, with her husband Eduardo. The couple works at a nearby elderly care facility called Moorings Park, and always wished to be homeowners, according to Naples Daily News.
“It means the difference between just existing versus thriving,” Summer Galvan said. “Without Habitat, it never would have happened.”
Habitat for Humanity offers interest-free mortgages for eligible applicants with low-income. Applicants are required to put a down payment on the house and devote 500 hours of labor for Habitat for Humanity per household.
If physical labor is unattainable, applicants can earn hours doing things like working in the organization’s office. If an applicant has children, each “A” a child receives in school counts as one hour toward the required 500.
The Galvans had already finished their 500 hours of “sweat equity” but still chose to help the volunteers on the site to show their appreciation for all of the hard work.
The new home, which is being built on the Dockside Habitat for Humanity development in East Naples, is different from the typical styles of the nonprofit’s homes, according to Habitat for Humanity of Collier County president Nick Kouloheras.
Each Habitat for Humanity Home is designed to fit Florida’s building codes so they can survive hurricanes.
The volunteering event helped expand awareness that the organization’s program is an option for veterans to use, Habitat staff told the Naples Daily News.
The Galvans’ home is scheduled to be finished around the end of March.