Habitat for Humanity – Women Build: RMA Belles for Rhonda Wells

At RMA, we love giving back to the community and strive for new opportunities every day to do so. So when Genia Baker (RMA Project Manager) proposed for us to join in building a home for Rhonda Wells and her family through Habitat for Humanity, we couldn’t resist. Being in the redevelopment business, it seemed appropriate for the women of RMA to get their ‘hands dirty’ and to transform into Power-Women with Power-Tools! The experience was beyond rewarding and a special day for all of the RMA “Belles”. Here is what some of them had to say:

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“Susan Kores and I were invited to attend a “kick-off” breakfast for Habitat’s Women Build week at the Wyndam Hotel in Jupiter Florida. At the time, I had no idea what this entailed other than a free breakfast and an opportunity for Habitat to continue pressuring the Agency (me) to convey various vacant parcels in our CRA target areas for their future home building efforts.

It wasn’t until the recipient of this new home (Rhonda Wells) spoke about the miracle of this opportunity for homeownership and the struggle she and her 3 kids have faced since their birth with finding and maintaining a place they could call home. It was at that very second I realized “but for the Grace of God there go I” and many other friends and family that I know. I was deeply touched by her sincerity and acutely reacquainted with the elusiveness of living this American dream. It was at the close of her presentation I became committed to being a part of her journey. Her Journey and Dream will end and become reality on July 30th.”

– Genia Baker, Project Manager

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“For me, “giving back” is receiving. There is nothing that feeds my soul more than volunteering to make a difference in someone else’s life. It’s an honor and privilege to have the ability to drive a nail, hang a door, paint a wall, whatever and I’m just so thankful and don’t ever want to take that for granted. Working alongside my fellow RMA-ers made this opportunity even that much more special and I look forward to our next project making a difference in someone’s life where we work every day to improve the quality of life for everyone. I love what we do!”

– Sharon McCormick, Director of Business Attraction & Marketing

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“One day at lunch in WPB, Genia mentioned that she had been to a meeting and Habitat for Humanity was there talking about Rhonda Wells and the home they were going to build for her. She got emotional just thinking about how special it would be to be a part of building a house for someone. Even though Genia isn’t much of a “handywoman”, she was willing to put herself out there and gather the RMA team to come help her.

I was excited when Genia asked us to be a part of this project. I have always wanted to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. My father was a contractor and I worked with him for a couple of summers during college and always helped out around the house, so construction comes natural. My only hesitation was that I did not want to be working on the roof. The summer after my Freshman year of college I was roofing with my dad when I slipped and fell 12 feet onto a gravel driveway….on my arm….my left arm…that I write with. Let’s just say, the nearly broken back, trying to write during the first part of my Sophomore year with a broken arm and the heart attack I nearly gave my dad was enough to keep me off roofs for awhile. Invariably, we got to the site and guess what our job was for the day? Yes, we were roofing! The excitement of working on this house for Rhonda Wells overpowered my fear of getting on that roof and by the end of the day, the accomplishment we all felt was overwhelming.”

– Allison Justice, Director of Operations

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“Participating in the Habitat for Humanity – Women Build Initiative, RMA Belles for Rhonda Wells, was a rewarding and fun experience! For many years, I had been interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and had obtained all the information without the timing ever being right to actually get involved. When my RMA colleagues asked for volunteers for this worthy cause, I knew the timing was finally right and signed up immediately. Spending the day helping to build a house for a deserving family – applying the roof shingles, installing doors and hardware and more – with the group of fantastic women from RMA was inspiring. In addition, being a part of a company that fully encourages and supports team member involvement in charitable causes that we are passionate about makes me proud. The fact that our company “Reinvents Cities” to help build successful communities is truly a perfect fit for the Habitat for Humanity mission and I look forward to more opportunities to get involved.”

– Tracey Burghy, Business Development Manager

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“RMA is in the Redevelopment business. So when this project was introduced to us – Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Initiative – we were interested in not just managing redevelopment projects but actually having the opportunity to put hammer to nail. Eleven powerful, community minded, effective and strong women made up the “RMA Belles for Rhonda Wells” Women Build team. On Friday, April 22, 2016, at 1106 Adams Street in West Palm Beach, in team tee-shirts, gloves and hardhats, we started that short (but seemingly endless!) climb up the ladder to the roof. Suffice it to say, that not all STAYED on the roof!! With power tools in hand, we shingled and hung doors as though we were born to it. At the end of the day, the sense of accomplishment, teamwork and giving back left us happy, exhausted and………thirsty!”

But really it’s not our story that matters, it’s the story of Rhonda, La’nise, Antanice and Antonio Wells. “I am excited to fulfill the promise I made to my children to have a house of our own. Soon my kids will have their own rooms and a yard where they can play together.” -Rhonda

Powered by Women, Funded by Women, Empowering Women”

– Susan Kores, Project Manager

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The house will be dedicated on July 30, 2016. Stay tuned for the “after” pictures!

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Introduction by Sarah Blake, Business Attraction & Marketing Manager