Retired NFL quarterback Joe Theismann was on hand Friday to help raise the first walls of an eco-friendly home in central Florida’s first green “Blitz Build,” an initiative by Habitat for Humanity -- with backing from Kellogg and area grocer Winn-Dixie -- to build such a structure in 10 days. Theismann was there as the guest of Kellogg, which worked with Winn-Dixie to raise $50,000 toward the construction. Also present at the wall-raising in Kissimmee, Fla., were homeowner Lee Brown and Habitat, Kellogg and Winn-Dixie volunteers.
The event marked Habitat’s second “Blitz Build” in Florida’s Osceola County, as well as the first “Green Build” in the region. Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County is the only chapter in the United States using steel construction made of 70 percent recycled material.
Although a “Blitz Build” is typically completed by a professional construction company, the current state of the economy has Habitat is depending on community goodwill and manpower. “[Winn-Dixie and Kellogg are] helping us build a house as we help area residents build self-esteem by teaching them life skills that will make them better homeowners,” noted said Patricia Filippone, executive director of the Osceola County chapter of Habitat.
“We know it’s important to reach out to our neighbors in need,” added Mike Solito, Tampa zone manager at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg. “Through partnerships with companies like Winn-Dixie and organizations like Habitat, we can provide much-needed resources and encouragement to help change peoples’ lives and strengthen our communities.”
A Florida native, Brown is performing over 500 hours of “sweat equity” service of helping to make Habitat homes a reality for others. An eco-friendly home is a particular priority for him, as he’s been disabled and on oxygen since 1991 because of a mold infestation in his previous residence.
Brown’s home is the 15th Habitat house built through the partnership between Winn-Dixie and Kellogg, which began in 2005.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie operates 515 retail grocery locations, including more than 400 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.