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Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties recently concluded its most successful season of Women Build. Fundraising teams, local companies and individual donors raised a record $534,000 to support Habitat’s home-building efforts for female-led households, the largest single-year fundraising total in Women Build history for Lee and Hendry counties.

Women Build is an annual initiative to engage women in the effort to provide safe and decent homes for families in need of affordable housing. During the 2024 season, 180 volunteers contributed 1,216 hours on 16 different homes for female-led families. Habitat also celebrated the support of 158 SuperPeople, each pledging at least $250 annually for five years to support Women Build’s mission in Lee and Hendry counties.

A portion of funds raised during this year’s Women Build will cover the construction costs of a new affordable home for a local mom, her two young children and fully disabled mother. Through her partnership with Habitat, the future homeowner will put in 300 hours of sweat equity, attend more than 20 hours of homeownership classes, contribute to their closing costs and pay an affordable mortgage set at no more than 30% of their monthly income.

“We are so grateful that our supporters recognize the increasing need to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for families in our community,” says Elisha Baird, vice president of strategic partnerships for Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. “The overwhelming support from the community, along with the hard work of our volunteers, has set a new standard for what we can accomplish together for female-led families through Women Build.”

On May 16, Habitat for Humanity celebrated the successful completion of its 14th Women Build season with a Thank You Party at the Habitat ReStore on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. Each year, Habitat’s coveted High Heel Award is given to the captain of the top-earning fundraising team to honor their commitment to Women Build. The winning team, led by Dede D’Arcy and Donna Aldrich, raised a record-breaking $74,275 during this year’s Women Build.

Since 2011, Women Build has partnered with 29 female-headed families to build strength and stability through local fundraising and volunteer efforts. This year, Habitat is set to build 68 affordable homes, with female-headed households making up 75% of its future homeowners.

Women Build 2024 was generously sponsored by Title Sponsor FineMark National Bank & Trust, Aubuchon Team of Companies, Edison National Bank, Royal Palm Coast Realtors Association, Habitat ReStores of Lee and Hendry Counties, Suffolk Construction, Suncoast Credit Union, Victory Layne Chevrolet, Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida, Inc., Legends Golf & Country Club, Mark Loren Designs, Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, Sun Country Homes of Florida, The Landings Yacht, Golf and Tennis Club, Alan Einhorn & Vicki Cooper, John & Lesley Hill, Robert & Ann Arnall, George Byam, Cundall Family Fund, Ed & Connie Lizak and Schenian Family Foundation, Inc.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties or to get involved, visit  

About Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties

A faith-based, private nonprofit organization, Habitat for Humanity is one of the leading affordable housing builders and developers in Lee and Hendry counties. Habitat partners with families to realize their housing and financial goals through HUD-approved housing counseling services. The organization offers pathways to affordable homeownership, serves as a mortgage lender and restores homes to safe and whole conditions through repair services. Since 1982, Habitat has built more than 1,800 homes, repaired over 350 homes and counseled more than 2,300 families to achieve their housing and financial goals. Everyone who engages with Habitat’s mission is working to address the critical need for affordable housing in Lee and Hendry counties. For more information, visit

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