Orlando Magic, Habitat for Humanity and AdventHealth Partner to Make Local Family’s Dream Home a Reality

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

ORLANDO – For years, amidst struggling to keep up with rising rent prices in a small apartment and dealing with constant housing uncertainty, Tanisha dreamed of having a home for her and her four children, where they could each have their own room, play in their own yard, and build relationships with their neighbors. 

Now, that dream is a reality. 

Last year, the Orlando Magic and Habitat for Humanity joined together to build a home for Tanisha and her family. On Tuesday, Magic President of Business Operations Charlie Freeman, President and CEO of Habitat Greater Orlando Catherine McManus, AdventHealth Community Relations Director - Central Florida Division Meghan Curren, Magic Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw, and STUFF the Magic Mascot joined Habitat homeowner Tanisha and her children to celebrate that dream becoming a reality with a key dedication ceremony. 

“These are some of our favorite days of the year, getting to see Tanisha’s face and STUFF giving her the keys to the home,” said Freeman. “It’s what it’s all about. It’s what we do. Community is one of the core values of the DeVos family and the Magic.” 

Her family’s home is the 12th that the Magic have sponsored in partnership with Habitat for Humanity since 2010. The Magic’s sponsorship funds are used for the construction of the house, while Tanisha will pay an equitable mortgage that she can afford, like all Habitat homeowners. 

“One of the things that makes our partnership with the Orlando Magic so special is they really all get into it,” said McManus. “It’s this huge behemoth of an NBA team and yet at the same time we have these personal connections and these friendships we’ve developed over the years. I think that’s what truly makes it so special is that it’s genuine, it’s authentic, and everyone from the Magic pitches in and does their part.” 

After struggling to find a home she could afford, Tanisha was initially denied the first time she applied for a Habitat home because she was just below the minimum credit score requirement. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must show they have the necessary income and credit to pay the monthly affordable mortgage as well as a housing need and a willingness to partner. 

She was then offered a spot in Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership mentor program, where she was able to receive guidance and put together a plan to increase her score. After a month of participation, Habitat staff ran her credit report again and she was approved. 

“The Habitat program that all of our homebuyers go through is rewarding to us because we know that they are purchasing their home informed, empowered and educated,” McManus explained. “That’s important. Home ownership is a huge commitment. But we know that when they’ve gone through the Habitat program that they’re ready. They know exactly what the next step is.” 

In addition to being selected as the 2022 Habitat for Humanity Orlando & Osceola homeowner, sponsored by the Magic, Tanisha and her family were honored by the team as their 14th annual Big Give recipient on Dec. 23. While attending the Magic’s game at Amway Center against the San Antonio Spurs, they were brought out to center court and showered with a number of holiday gifts and other items from the Magic and many of their corporate partners. 

Among the gifts they received were a flat screen TV, air fryer, a driveway basketball hoop, home accessories, $5,000 of home furnishings provided by AdventHealth, a gaming machine from Arcade1Up, six Disney Park Hopper Passes courtesy of Disney, $500 from Kroger, one year supply of Papa John’s pizza, a $100 gift card from PDQ, and a gift basket from Magic Gaming. 

“We’re so proud to partner with the Orlando Magic on something that’s important in the community like housing,” said Curren. “It’s a huge need in Central Florida and were happy to be able to give back in this way. It’s core to both of our missions and our values to take care of the community of Central Florida and to do a project like this.” 

Building her own home where each of her children could have their own room has been a long-time dream for Tanisha. And she was quick to express her gratitude that it’s now come to fruition due in part to help from the Magic, Habitat for Humanity, and AdventHealth

“They’ve been amazingly just there every step of the way,” said Tanisha. “I definitely appreciate it. Being one of the people to actually build my own home was just enough for me to say that I’m grateful.”