ORLANDO - Lending a helping hand to families in need always puts smiles on the faces of Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, the Orlando Magic’s Community Ambassadors.
There are many reasons why being out in the community as often they are makes them so happy, they both say, but what tops the list is just simply knowing the positive impact it makes on those being assisted.
Thursday’s Magic volunteer project is a great example. Anderson and Outlaw, along with many other volunteers from the Magic and Jewett Orthopaedic, were at Silver Pines Pointe painting a brand new home that a deserving family will soon move in to by way of the Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County program. It was the 11th home, first at this particular neighborhood, the Magic have helped build and/or beautify with Jewett and Habitat for Humanity.
As the former Magic players both know from past involvement, the family who will now call this home theirs will be in a much better situation than they were before, which will allow them to enhance all aspects of their lives.
“It’s special because when families move in they blossom,” Anderson said. “That picks up their spirit, their motivation. To see the smiles on the people’s faces, it brings a sense of enjoyment I know to them, but it also brings a sense of enjoyment to the people who have lent a helping hand.”
“That’s what you’re trying to do as a person, give opportunities,” Outlaw said. “Habitat for Humanity gives opportunity to own a home. Jewett, the Magic and others in the community are helping them build their home. They are then taking advantage of the opportunity to change their lives.”
This home at Silver Pines Pointe, a community that will ultimately feature 58 single-family homes upon completion in 2022, is being built for a family who has fulfilled Habitat for Humanity’s requirements to own it, which includes doing 200 hours of sweat equity or volunteer hours on the Habitat build sites or office as well as attending 17 homeownership classes.
What makes constructing and garnishing all of these homes even more special for the Magic is that they get to do it side by side with an organization that also cares so deeply about the community around them. Jewett, like the Magic, spend a great deal of time helping families grow and develop, a commonality that helps strengthen the partnership.
“You can probably catch someone at Jewett at almost every Magic event,” said Allan Sansom, Vice President of Marketing at Jewett. “When the Magic and Jewett partner with somebody, it’s a community partnership. We don’t succeed without our community. We don’t grow without our community. So, to give back, it’s just an extension of thanking them for all that they do for us. We love doing this. We’re happy to be here.”
Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County's mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. Betsy Culpepper, its Vice President of Brand and Community Engagement, has seen how families have been able to revitalize their lives through the program and with the Magic and Jewett’s assistance.
“Being a homeowner actually removes barriers to a more stable life,” she said. “Families are able to concentrate more on being able to have wonderful lives, from education to things they are able to do out of the home. Because they have eliminated that barrier of having a challenging financial outlook, it really frees the family to make better, forward-looking choices.”
“It is a magical experience to have the Magic as one of our partners,” she added. “They have been just wonderful financial supporters as well as not only volunteering their staff members and team members, but also encouraging others to participate. We can’t thank them enough. Everybody has just been a great partner and continues to help support affordable housing in Central Florida. We’re thrilled to have them as one of our supporters.”