for a Veterans Build in the City of Woodbury
Numerous ways for community and local businesses to get involved!
Pitman, NJ. (July 26, 2022) – Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity (GCHFH) is partnering with a local veteran, Private First Class, Ana Toro, Army Reserve, to build a home for her family of three in the City of Woodbury. “Keep pushing, don’t settle” – the words that Ana Toro has lived by since she was a teenager. After graduating high school in 1996, Ana was determined to make a better life for herself and enlisted in the United States Army Reserves. For the next 8 years Ana served as a private first-class in-flight operator, a male dominated field. Ana was directed to handle the “grunt work” day in and day out. This only fueled Ana’s determination to succeed.
Fast forward to 2022, Ana is now a proud single mom of two beautiful daughters. Trinity, a fine arts major and Alina, a teenager, who is an inspiring hula dancer. Committed to playing it forward, Ana is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in social work. But, despite Ana’s determination she is unable to afford the one thing she’s dreamt about – a safe, stable place that is her own. Currently living in a very small 2-bedroom apartment, most nights Alina sleeps with her mom, as the 2nd bedroom is not big enough for 2 single beds. The apartment isn’t large enough to celebrate the holidays and there is no room for family activities . As Alina puts it,” I need my own space”
Ana will purchase a home with an affordable mortgage, financed through a GCHFH banking partner, after she completes her 350 hours of sweat equity. Toro is currently building other partner families’ homes beside other local volunteers. Groundbreaking for her home will take place in early September with an expected move in date of June 2023.
“This is an important and much-needed way for us to give back to the servicemen and women who have dedicated their lives to our country,” said Ashley Griffiths, of GCHFH. “Affordable housing has always been a prominent issue in the veteran community but recent economic circumstances have made it even more so. We are forever indebted to our veterans, so we want to make sure we are providing the service they need and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream they worked so hard to protect.”
While it is a blessing to be able to provide homeownership opportunities to our veterans, the cost to construct just one home has skyrocketed roughly 39% due to rising lumber costs and the global pandemic. That is why GCHFH needs the community to help support our Veterans Build. Throughout the next 6 months, GCHFH is looking to raise $25,000 to reach 100% funding for the 1,200 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 bath project in Woodbury.
Community members can donate through different avenues including:
Local businesses are encouraged to sponsor our Veteran Build week in November, bring their team out for a team building experience, or becoming a 2023 corporate sponsor.