There’s a strong need for affordable housing in Lee and Hendry Counties, particularly for single-parent households led by women. In fact, more than half of the families who have completed Habitat’s affordable homeownership program over the last few years have been female-led. That’s why Women Build is so important.
Each year, the Women Build campaign gives us the opportunity to partner with local community members, business owners and organizations as we work to recruit, educate, inspire, and empower women.
This year, we were proud to name FineMark National Bank & Trust as Title Sponsor for Women Build 2021. “We share Habitat’s vision that homeownership is an important part of women’s financial empowerment.” says FineMark National Bank & Trust Vice President and Community Reinvestment Act Officer, Jill Morrissey. “The homeowners’ financial education and confidence that is built by Habitat’s guidance is very valuable. There are few aspects in our lives that mean more than having a secure and stable home life. Your home becomes your sanctuary where special memories with family and friends are created, not just now, but for generations.”
The employees of FineMark National Bank & Trust value their ability make a positive impact within the community. In fact, community service is at the center of their company culture, and their partnership with Habitat goes far beyond the role of Women Build Title Sponsor.
“FineMark’s vision is to ‘make a positive impact on the individuals, families and communities we serve while being good stewards of FineMark’s resources.’ We believe our community partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is a great example of living our mission,” says FineMark National Bank & Trust Executive Vice President, Robert Arnall. Robert, who has been personally involved with our organization for more than 20 years, has also served on Habitat’s board of directors since 2015 and is currently Vice-Chair.
Additionally, FineMark participates in our Homeowner Education Program, volunteering their time to provide financial literacy training for our partnering families. Educational courses such as those provided by FineMark are required for all future Habitat homeowners, and our ability to provide high quality education to these families is dependent on corporate partnerships. Employees also lend their time and talents sponsoring over 100 FHLB Atlanta down payment assistance grants totaling more than $600,000, which is an average of $6,000 for individual borrowers to help with their mortgage expenses.
Traditionally, FineMark employees have dedicated many hours to volunteerism on our jobsites as well, and we look forward to building alongside FineMark’s company volunteers again soon. Over the years, 43 FineMark employees have contributed more than 670 volunteer hours.
For more than a decade, FineMark National Bank & Trust has been a reliable partner, dedicated to helping progress the Habitat mission. “I can confidently say that Habitat would not be where we are today without FineMark,” says Habitat Lee and Hendry CEO, Becky Lucas. For instance, the implementation of our neighborhood building model came to fruition thanks to the immense resources FineMark National Bank & Trust has extended to us via donations, sponsorships, the purchase of bulk mortgages, competitive lines of credit, and financial expertise.
FineMark’s newfound involvement with Women Build does not define its partnership with Habitat. Rather, it exemplifies Habitat’s mission of ‘bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.’ “We’re very proud to partner with Habitat and expect our collaborations to continue well into the future,” says FineMark’s Jill Morrissey. “We are inspired and humbled by the way that Habitat genuinely impacts the lives of our neighbors.”