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Habitat for Humanity to present special Mother’s Day gift

May 10, 2011

One mother will have her dream come true next Saturday after she moves into her Habitat for Humanity home with her two young boys in time for Mother's Day.

Although Michelle Wolcott submitted her request of interest to Habitat for Humanity in January to be considered for a home, she did not think she would be closing on her own home for her and her two small boys on May 6.

"It feels so long, but it feels so quick," she said about the process.

Article Photos


Kitty Green, CEO and president of Habitat for Humanity, is joined by Robbie Roepstorff, president of Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands, at Women Build launch event.

Wolcott said she first heard about Habitat for Humanity a while back when friends of the family moved into a Habitat home. The application sat on her dresser for a couple of months as she tossed around the idea of filling it out and turning it in. Once her job was outsourced in October of last year, the need to fill out the application began to grow.

Wolcott said right as she was being let go, the same company that dismissed her offered a job in a different division, which she took without hesitation. Unfortunately, the new job was a decrease in pay with a loss of benefits. The change with work led to her moving in with her parents a little over a year ago.

Her sons, Adrien Wolcott, 5, and Isaiah Perez, 3, do not do well in small confined spaces, so Wolcott knew she had to do something for them. That realization led her to filling out the application because she figured she didn't have anything to lose.

"Habitat worked with me," Wolcott said. "They told me yes ... they approved me. When something is happening that you aren't expecting, you believe it is too good to be true, but it's not."

After Wolcott was approved she began her sweat equity hours in February by painting houses. She also took an abundance of classes that taught her about how to save money and repair her home.

"The classes are really good," Wolcott said. "I really enjoyed them."

Habitat for Humanity provided Wolcott with a list of foreclosed homes that she could chose from in Cape Coral, rather than building a new home. She said when looking at the different homes, she paid attention to a fenced-in back yard that had safe streets surrounding the home.

Wolcott finally stumbled upon a three-bedroom, two-bath home that was built in 2001.

She said it is 1,089 square feet with a 250- square-foot sun porch and a fenced-in yard with trees.

"I saw my kids out there and wanted it," Wolcott said. "The outside is huge."

Since the home is a foreclosure, there is a lot of work to be done to make it a livable space for the family. To make that happen, Kitty Green, who became the CEO and president of Habitat for Humanity a year ago, decided to launch the annual Women Build event this year in Lee County. She said the event, which is always the week leading up to Mother's Day, is part of an annual happening that is sponsored by Habitat for Humanity that goes on across the nation.

The purpose of Women Build, Green said, is to acknowledge the profound impact that a safe affordable home has on a woman and her family, along with engaging other women in the advocacy and process of creating that home.

"Owning a safe affordable home is a spring board for a better life for the entire family," Green said.

Green said the Women Build event will kick off today with Lowe's providing a clinic to help educate the 60 volunteers who will be in attendance.

"I have been really happy and pleased with how well received this idea has been and how many women have pitched in to be a part of it," Green said. "It is nice that there are people that are still willing to put themselves out there."

Once the clinic is over, the women will begin replacing the flooring, cabinets, appliances, along with painting the home and working on the landscape in pink hard hats.

"The house is relatively new and in good shape structurally," she said.

The house is expected to be completed and closed on for the following Saturday.

More than 140 businesses and individuals donated money to go towards the $50,000 sponsorship fee.

"It was a grass roots effort," Green said. "A number of teams got together to raise money from their own circle of friends and associates."

Wolcott will join the Women Build volunteers today and hopes to on Sunday and Monday. She said she will be working for the rest of the week, but will stop by after work to see the progress of the renovation.

Based on the enthusiasm that the Women Build event received, Green said she expects it will become an annual event for Lee County.

"Women are passionate about helping other women," Green said, because of how many women at some point of their lives have struggled to have a good roof over their families' heads.

Wolcott will have a blessing of her home next Saturday, to provide her with the opportunity to thank everyone.

Green said it is a nice moving, simple ceremony because everyone puts a hand on the home, while the pastor says a prayer.

Wolcott said she cannot wait to get her kids settled in their own beds because everyone will be at more ease and the kids will be happy.

"They ask for very little. I feel like and they really go out on the limb," Wolcott said about Habitat for Humanity.



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