volunteers working on Habitat build

Students, faculty and staff from Florida A&M (FAMU) are building a new home with a Tallahassee family through Big Bend Habitat for Humanity, with support from Whirlpool Corporation.

New homeowner Lynesia White and her three daughters will receive the keys to their home in an official key ceremony, taking place at 8 am, Oct. 27, at the build site in the Greater Bond area, a Habitat neighborhood in Leon County and adjacent to Florida A&M. The build will run through the end of December.

Local Habitat representatives will be joined at the event by volunteers, Florida A&M students, campus leaders and several Whirlpool Corporation executives.

“Our long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity enables us to help provide affordable places to live for families like Lynesia’s and to support resilient and sustainable communities,” said Devon Voster, vice president, Organization and Talent for Whirlpool Corporation. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work alongside Florida A&M students to serve this community.”

Our long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity enables us to help provide affordable places to live for families like Lynesia’s and to support resilient and sustainable communities,”

“We are very proud of the students, faculty and staff who support this construction effort. We’re not only helping a local family, but we’re also reinforcing our commitment to community service,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “We appreciate the support of Whirlpool Corporation for this opportunity to allow our students to see outreach and environmental responsibility in action.”

Lynesia and her three daughters, aged 5, 12, and 21, are thrilled to soon move into their own home. Lynesia witnessed her older sister achieve homeownership and struggle with the numerous hurdles that came with a conventional mortgage. Seeking a less daunting pathway to homeownership, Lynesia applied to partner with Big Bend Habitat for Humanity four years ago. She and her daughters were then residing in a modest 2-bedroom apartment where the older daughters shared one room, while Lynesia shared the other with her youngest child. Presently, Lynesia serves as a lead chef at a local rehabilitation center, supplementing her income through her skills in hair braiding and the design and printing of t-shirts.

Families qualify for the Habitat program based on three criteria: need for housing, ability to pay back their affordable mortgage and a willingness to partner. Each adult member living in a Habitat home must invest 400 hours of volunteering, called sweat equity, before closing on their house.

Lynesia’s home is part of Habitat’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative and will include energy-efficient features including water-conserving plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency heating and cooling.

The BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative will build more than 250 climate-resilient and energy-efficient homes across the country, with a goal of delivering an almost 15 percent increase in energy efficiency compared to conventional homes. With Whirlpool Corporation’s support, the program will help hundreds of families in need of affordable housing over three years.

“We look forward to this special build and are excited to partner with Whirlpool Corporation and FAMU,” said Antoine Wright, Executive Director of Big Bend Habitat for Humanity. “Thanks to the BuildBetter initiative and Whirlpool’s support, Lynesia’s home will be energy efficient and provide an opportunity to immediately decrease her family’s utility expenses and carbon footprint.”

Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity have partnered for 24 years to build a better world where families have access to safe, decent and affordable housing. As of September 2023, Whirlpool Corporation has donated more than $125 million in appliances to Habitat since 1999, including ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves for Habitat homes in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and Latin America. This sustained support has helped more than 1 million people around the world.