Partnering With Habitat For Humanity In Fort Myers With Tile

Posted by TOA's Blog Team on Jan 7th 2016

Possibly the best part of belonging to the Fort Myers community since 2002 is the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. We regularly donate tile (see Tile Outlets of America Surpasses 75 Truckloads / 350 pallets of tile donations to Habitat ReStore in Lee County/Fort Myers Florida in the past five years) and appreciate the relationship.

In the photo, Stephanie Davis, ReStore Procurement Director for Habitat for Humanity of Lee & Hendry Counties, came in to Tile Outlets of America to thank us for our support and tile donations. She is pictured with Ray Hampton, Tile Outlets' receiving manager in Fort Myers, who handles coordinating and preparing all Habitat donations.

We recently caught up with Stephanie to learn more about Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore Program.

Meet Stephanie Davis, Habitat For Humanity in Fort Myers

TOA: Stephanie, what is your background and role with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendtry Counties?

SD: I have 12 years of Retail Management. I started with Habitat for Humanity in April 2015 as the Procurement Director for the ReStores. I love my job!

TOA: What is the history of the Lee County Habitat for Humanity?

SD: This is a really interesting story. We began as the Lee County Mission Board, a non-profit group supported by area places of worship, to minister to the county's needy families.

In the late 1970s, the Mission Board played an important role in securing a federal housing grant for the construction of 40+ homes in Harlem Heights, a neglected former migrant worker housing area in the southern part of Lee County, located between the present-day Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club and HealthPark Medical Center in Ft. Myers, Florida.

When funding ended in 1979, Mission Board members invited Millard Fuller, the 1976 founder of a fledgling housing ministry called Habitat for Humanity to visit.

After that, the Mission Board appointed a Habitat for Humanity Administrative Committee and launched a fundraising campaign. Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties was granted a charter in October 1982, one of the first affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International.

Be sure to read the entire history on our website.

TOA: How does Habitat help the community?

SD: Homeownership provides a critical path out of poverty. For that reason, Habitat offers sustainable solutions to low-income families in need of affordable housing. This is done through homeownership opportunities, critical home repairs and homeownership counseling.

Currently, Lee County is the second worst county in the U.S. for low income families looking for an affordable place to live.

TOA: What is the organization's mission?

SD: Our Mission is as follows,

"Seeking to put God’s Love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

Our Vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live."


The Habitat for Humanity Driver Ambassador, Scott Chadderdon, with Tile Outlets' Ray Hampton

TOA: What success has the organization had in the community?

SD: To date, Habitat has served 1,384 families through homeownership. Last year alone, we touched 10,646 lives through our services.

TOA: How do you use tile donations from Tile Outlets of America?

SD: We sell the donations at a fraction of the retail price to the public at all 3 of our Restore locations. 100% of the proceeds from the Restores are used to build homes for families in need.

TOA: What is a ReStore?

SD: ReStores are our stores and donation centers. Habitat for Humanity ReStores says it best:

"ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

ReStores are independently owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. Proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world."

We have three ReStores: in South Fort Myers, North Fort Myers and in Bonita Springs. You can learn more by visiting the Lee & Hendry Counties ReStore page.

TOA: How can people get involved with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties?

SD: Join us every 3rd Tuesday of the month for a Habitat 101 luncheon to learn Habitat for Humanity history and see how you can get involved. Go to 1288 North Tamiami Trail North Fort Myers, FL 33903 at noon for about 1 hour. Call 239-652-1678 to reserve a spot today.

You can explore some of the volunteer opportunities we currently have available, too.

Be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

TOA: Thank you, Stephanie!

SD: We wouldn’t be able to support our mission and do the work we do without great partners like you. Your generous donation will help us in our mission to help deserving families in the Lee County area reach their dream of owning their homes. As I mentioned, 100% of the proceeds from the ReStores are used for building these homes.

Thanks again for your support.

TOA: We hope you'll explore Habitat for Humanity in Fort Myers so you, too, can help support the organization's mission.