More than 30 local women will pick up hammers at Habitat for Humanity's construction site in East Naples as part of Fifth Third Bank's Women's Build program. The bank provided $50,000 to build a Habitat home for a local single mother in need.
The grant is from Fifth Third's Charlotte Schmidlapp fund, which supports causes that work for the empowerment and advancement of women.
Milange Francois, a single mother of two, will join the female volunteer corps on Tuesday as they raise the walls on her new home. Currently, Francois can only afford to rent one bedroom of an apartment for her family. She hopes the opportunity to own a home will provide a more stable life for her daughter Sandy and son Christopher.
Like all of Habitat's partner families, Francois will volunteer 500 hours of her time to help build her home and will pay an interest-free mortgage.
The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp fund is named after the daughter of a former Fifth Third president. Charlotte was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 18.
Habitat for Humanity of Collier County is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and is run by a local board of directors. The nonprofit organization assists low-income families in need of a simple, decent place to live. A qualifying applicant must work 500 hours of "sweat equity," make a down payment of $1,000 and, on average, pay $450 per month towards their no-interest loan. All partner families are legal residents and working full-time in the Collier County.