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Empowering Women through Home Ownership & Financial Education
For more than a decade, FineMark National Bank & Trust has partnered with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering time and dedicating financial resources to help advance Habitat’s mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. In 2022, we renewed our commitment to this wonderful organization and became the Presenting Sponsor of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build events in Lee County.
FineMark is particularly proud to be involved with Women Build, a national initiative implemented to engage women in the effort to provide safe and decent homes for families in need of affordable housing, because we know homeownership plays a vital role in women’s financial empowerment. Together with Habitat, we recognize that many families are led by women, and we’re proud to support Habitat’s goals to inspire, empower, and provide financial education to female homeowners.
Working Together to Turn Houses into Homes
On Saturday, February 26, for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, Women Build volunteers and FineMark came together to raise the exterior walls of a new house. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Joy, the future homeowner, these volunteers helped transform a simple concrete slab into the framework of what will be Joy’s home.
Having a home that she can truly call her own means everything to Joy. “I was up at 5 o’clock this morning just nervous. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to go,” she said. “I’m just thankful — and really excited — for the house to be up, and to finish raising my kids here in a safe environment. I want to thank everyone for all of their hard work!”
A house becomes a home when it’s also a sanctuary — a place that offers a secure and stable home life, where special memories are made with family and friends, now and for future generations. Over the last 12 years, Women Build has helped Lee County women like Joy achieve strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership.
“This is truly about empowerment,” said Becky Lucas, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Lee and Hendry Counties. “There’s a connection between the homebuyer and the people here today who support our organization. Working hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder…it shows that we can work together as a community.”
An Impactful Partnership
Over the years, Habitat and FineMark have been unified in a shared vision: to make a positive impact on the communities we serve, especially with affordable housing. We’ve been inspired and humbled by Habitat’s ability to genuinely impact our neighbors’ lives and are pleased to be part of the good they’re doing in our communities.
In addition to our activities with Women Build, over the past several years FineMark has partnered with Habitat on a variety of endeavors including sponsoring FineMark Village, an 11-home neighborhood built in Heritage Heights, FL, providing over $5.5 million in mortgage purchases, and enabling our employees to lend their time and talents to sponsor more than 100 Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta down-payment assistance grants totaling more than $600,000 (which helped homeowners reduce mortgage costs an average of $6,000 per household), in addition to hundreds of hands-on volunteer build hours!
For example, late last year, several FineMark staff members installed flooring, did millwork, and participated in making a house a home for future homeowners Jorell and Megan, helping ensure they could celebrate the 2021 holidays in their new home!
“[Supporting Habitat for Humanity and participating in Women Build] is one of the most tangible impacts that FineMark can have on the communities we serve,” said Robert M. Arnall, FineMark Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. “Every dollar committed to Habitat goes toward providing affordable housing. And you can see that impact — the bricks and mortar will stay here forever.”