Marilyn Hattaway owned a successful company for many years but was looking to do something more meaningful, she said. She took a position as executive director of Hospice of the Comforter Foundation, and she loved the work she was doing, but she was crying daily, and the overwhelming sadness was affecting her mentally.
When a position became available at Habitat For Humanity in Seminole County & Greater Apopka, she branched out again. This job has been the perfect fit for Hattaway for several years. She recently accepted another Habitat position — this time as West Orange Habitat For Humanity’s director of development.
Her passion for nonprofit organizations continues in this role, where she wants to build on the affiliate’s success of building four homes last year.
“I am excited to continue the legacy of Habitat in our community and look forward to working with the team to build more homes for more families,” Hattaway said. “I am fortunate to be joining an incredible and passionate team of staff and board members that prides itself on excellence.”
Board Chairman Tom Runnells said: “We view her appointment as a sign of our commitment to being a leader in service to our community. Our ministry and the increasing vision led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our plans for future growth, and it is fortunate that we were able to find someone of Marilyn’s caliber to fulfill this role.”
She took the helm in early March and said the ministry considers it a privilege to serve low- to moderate-income families.
“I love the idea of affordable housing,” Hattaway said. “Housing gives them better opportunities for better childcare, better food … it just gives them a leg up. The dignity of first-time homeowners, it’s just incredible. (It benefits) generations to follow – if mama is a homeowner, chances are they are going to be homeowners, too.”
West Orange Habitat For Humanity was founded in 1990 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Its primary goal is to build homes for God's people in need in Ocoee, Winter Garden, Oakland, Tildenville, Dr. Phillips, Lake Buena Vista and Windermere. The affiliate office is located in the new ReStore at 13369 W. Colonial Drive in Winter Garden.
“West Orange has a lot of property available and a lot of volunteers, and we just need to surround our work with corporations, churches, foundations and individuals who want to help us fund and build homes for really deserving families,” Hattaway said.
For information on getting involved with West Orange Habitat for Humanity, visit westorangehabitat.org or call Marilyn Hattaway at (407) 809-4411.
“I love fundraising. I love to say what’s in your wallet?” she said. “If people know they are giving to a really great mission, and they know they can trust that we are fiscally responsible and all the money we raise goes directly into construction, they like that. …
Corporations like to do building as a team-building fun day, and it’s a great way to build your company. … People like to come out and help someone else. … Years later they can say, I built that.”
Contact Amy Quesinberry at [email protected].