APPLETON, Wis. - The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity relies on community support to turn dreams of homeownership into reality for low-income families. Now, they're getting a helping hand from another Fox Cities organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of women and children.
On West 8th Street in Appleton, Maria Martinez is watching her future take shape.
"It is life changing. I am so excited. I'm blessed."
The 24-year-old receptionist is saying goodbye to the rundown mobile home she shares with her parents and two sisters and is starting a new chapter as a first-time homeowner.
"We've never had a home to call our own, so being able to have this and say that we built it and we're working hard for it is just incredible."
Habitat for Humanity chose Martinez to receive a new house through the organization's homebuyer program. She will obtain a no-interest loan and have her mortgage payments set according to her income, but she must complete an education program and put in 300 hours of sweat equity.
"It's wonderful. They learn construction skills. They learn all about what a mortgage is. They learn financial literacy and budgeting. So we really prepare them to be successful homeowners, and it's important because home ownership builds equity, and equity is the quickest way to rise out of poverty," explained Amy Ristow, Associate Director of the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity.
The program has transformed hundreds of lives. It's a mission supported by Mid-Day Women's Alliance. The networking and women empowerment group selected Habitat for Humanity out of ten nominees to receive the proceeds from their next Black & Pink Ball.
"We're helping those around us and lifting each other up, and so to participate in an event like this just gives everybody a great feeling, and so it would be nice to have members of the community at large to really come and support the event," said Ann Thielman, Mid-Day Women's Alliance Co-President.
The Black & Pink Ball features live and silent auctions, a chocolate wall, dancing and more. The funds raised will go to Habitat for Humanity's Women Build which is a worksite where only women construct the home. This year's recipient is a mother and her two children... And members of "mid-day women's alliance.. plan to pound some nails.. Right alongside them.
"We all want to be involved and it's nice to be involved in an organization and an activity that really supports the community." thielman
Giving women.. like "maria"...
"I'm going to feel so independent The tools they need.. to succeed.
The "black and pink ball".. is being held..
On december 6th.. from six to nine p-m.. at waverly beach in menasha.
And your donations.. will go farther this year.
A local realty group.. is pledging to match the funds raised.. up to 37-thousand dollars.. through the "black and pink ball."