Building a Stronger Community December 10, 2014
The marine industry represents 110,000 jobs in Broward County so it goes without saying we are an integral part of the community having a strong presence that spans decades. The quality of any community is insured by leadership, civic action, culture, and a quality of life. That said, what additionally adds value to families is home ownership. The Marine Industry has partnered this year with Habitat for Humanity to make homeownership a reality for two families in the first two-story duplex built by the organization in Fort Lauderdale. The project is set for shovels in the ground in January.
Marine businesses have several great ways to support this project and benefit their businesses and community. The first and probably the most fun, feel good opportunity is team building. Get your team together, pick a day, commit four hours, dig in and help build the house (8:30 to 12:30 Monday- Friday, or Saturday) Nothing is better to bring your team together than getting your hands dirty learning a new skill and accomplish something for the greater good. When the build is complete you can look at the home with pride and say my team helped this dream come true. The second way your business can help is to contribute. Your tax-deductible donation will help make this project a reality. There is even a program that makes donation dollars go further- The Community Contribution Tax Credit Program (CCTCP) provides a financial incentive (up to 50% tax credit or sales tax refund) to encourage Florida businesses to make donations toward approved community development and housing projects. The January 2015 MIASF member meeting will include CFO’s from local businesses already utilizing this program to explain the advantages and opportunity. Of course because everyone’s tax situation is different we will also recommend you consult your own accountant as well.
Last week MIASF Board and staff had the pleasure of meeting the family that will call this home, the Smith’s. Alton and Tenisha Smith’s family of 4 children in the home plus a stepdaughter are all eager and ready to work hard to the goal of home ownership. Alton work’s in the construction industry and Tenisha is a phlebotomist, drawing blood. She works at night so they can share the childcare responsibilities. Building a better life is clearly a team effort in this family. It is clear when speaking to Alton the benefit of home ownership will include a man cave hideout in the garage complete with Dallas Cowboy memorabilia. Tenisha is simply just excited at the prospect of having a home of her own for her family. Becoming approved to be a Habitat family is not a simple process, it requires a down payment, contribution of 400 sweat equity hours in a build and classes on money management all in preparation for homeownership. The teenage family members are also included in the education requirement to help the next generation prepare for the future.
MIASF and its membership have for years been involved in community projects that involve the environment and education. The opportunity to help build a home and a stronger community may be the best project yet because we will get more than we give and what better way to start 2015.