JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Right off of 295 and 9B, a new community is being built. It’s called eTown. Jeff Nash moved into a new house in this development at the start of the year.
“It makes you feel good just being able to purchase a house you wanted already and doing that alone, helping someone else be able to stay in their home,” Nash said.
His house is at the center of the "Home from the Heart" program.
The builder, ICI Homes, donated all of the proceeds from the sale of this house, $123-thousand dollars, to Builders Care, the charitable arm of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, known as NEFBA.
“Last year, when they announced it at NEFBA, right away at the meeting, before I walked out the door, manufacturers and vendors were walking up to me saying 'I want to be a part,'” said Joe Blanco with ICI Homes. “If it was donated a/c equipment or donating the appliances or the lumber for the job or just labor to install the trim or to paint, everybody stepped up to help out.”
Justin Brown, executive director of Builders Care says the donation will go a long way.
“This is huge. This is enormous for us. In fact, the amount of money ICI is donating to us is really enough to cover our overhead for the year, which really frees us up to do a lot more work with all the money we get from donors,” he said.
From roof repairs to building wheelchair ramps and retrofitting bathrooms, Builders Care offers free construction work to those in need in five counties across the First Coast. Now Brown is hoping other builders will step in to give back.
“The idea is, if we can get more builders on board, we can do this every year. It would allow us to operate basically free of government funding,” Brown said. “I can't thank ICI enough for this. This is going to change the lives of so many people.”