GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A Green Bay family now knows what it feels like to own a home, thanks to Habitat for Humanity and the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. Local 5 was there as the Jimenez family got the keys to their new home, the 120th built by Habitat.
At a house on Chicago Street, the Jimenez family gathers, ready to move into their first ever home.
“Super excited, a little nervous, but excited, waited for this day for a long time,” said Shaleen Jimenez.
Last fall Shaleen Jimenez applied to Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity, whose mission is to help low income households purchase an affordable home built by the organization.
“We average right now seven to eight homes a year. In the last 10 years we have been average and we want to be 12 to 15,” said Cora Haltaufderheid, the group’s executive director.
But building homes is expensive – yet Habitat had a partner – who for the last three years has donated over $80,000 dollars to this home and the group’s mission.
“It was really important to give back to our local charities who do the tough work that they do,” said Brighid Riordan, vice president of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.
Since 2000 the marathon has donated $1.5 million to 18 charity partners. For the last three years Habitat has been on the receiving end of their generosity. And while the pandemic canceled this year’s event, which instead was held virtually, Riordan says it was vitally important to make another donation .
“We’ve had some tough adversity to deal with as a marathon, but we’ve always kept not only providing a world class event, but getting money to our charity partners at the top of our agenda,” Riordan said.
“This is a complete surprise to us today, but it just shows the partnership Cellcom has and believing in nonprofits,” said Haltaufderheid.
It is a mission and a partnership that allows this family of eight to purchase a five bedroom home, giving them the space they need.
“There are eight of us and I have three teenage girls in one room – and here they’ll be able to have their own room and space,” Jimenez said.
“This will change their life forever and their generations to come,” said Haltaufderheid.
This was the 120th home – built by the organization.