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Canadian Company’s Generous Donation Launches Habitat for Humanity of Florida’s 2018 Building Program

Resolute Forest Products employees wrapped a railcar of lumber that crossed the continent to support the Habitat Hammers Back 2018 Florida building program. (Photo: Business Wire) Multimedia Gallery URL

OCALA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

A breakfast reception will kick off the 2018 Habitat for Humanity of Florida building program in Ocala, Florida, on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 9 a.m. The mid-state location is the site of Southern Structures, Inc. (334 Cypress Road, Ocala, Fla). The manufacturer is incorporating a donation of lumber from one of Resolute Forest Products’ Quebec sawmills into 10 homes that will be built in Ocala for Habitat partner families in Big Coppitt Key, in the Florida Keys. Florida is engaged in significant rebuilding after hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted all areas of the state in 2017.

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“Following the destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, our employees wanted to help the residents of Florida,” says Resolute Director of U.S. Public Affairs Debbie Johnston. “With our two tissue manufacturing operations in Sanford and Hialeah and paper recycling center in Tampa, we knew it was the right thing to do and quickly mobilized to ship a railcar of lumber from one of our sawmills in Quebec, Canada. We worked closely with Habitat staff, who identified The Keys as the area that needed the most help.”

Kristina Welburn is the director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys. She says the timing of the donation offer came as the area was still focused on immediate infrastructure recovery, but the cost of the 2018 plan could be offset by the Resolute lumber donation.

“We knew these 10 homes were part of the kick-off for 2018,” says Welburn. “Since the homes are actually constructed in Ocala, it made sense to accept the gift there. We were touched by the generosity of people who wanted to help us from so far away.”

Following the Habitat Hammers Back model, these homes are part of the community stabilization and long-term recovery phases of the Lower Florida Keys Habitat for Humanity action plan. One of the 10 Habitat partner families purchasing a home will be attending the event.

Habitat for Humanity of Florida President and CEO Barbara Inman Beck is proud of the impact made by Florida’s Habitat affiliates statewide.

“Aside from fulfilling our mission to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope, our work generates an economic impact of approximately $300 million to Florida each year. This project demonstrates how that works. We want to express our gratitude to Resolute while we highlight the 2018 building programs across the state.”

The donation of lumber from Resolute is part of a $2.9 million economic impact in Marion County and $1.5 million impact in Monroe County.

Habitat affiliates and their elected officials and business partners statewide will be invited to the event in Ocala.

“Resolute is pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Florida to shed light on their work for 2018,” adds Johnston.

About Resolute Forest Products: Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products, newsprint and specialty papers, which are marketed in close to 70 countries. The company owns or operates some 40 manufacturing facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. Resolute operates two tissue mills in Florida, one in Hialeah and another in Sanford, that produce branded and private-label tissue products for retail and away-from-home markets. The company also operates a paper recycling center in Tampa. The three facilities employ over 350 individuals.

About Habitat for Humanity of Florida: Habitat for Humanity envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Florida is a separately incorporated non-profit organization supporting the work of Habitat for Humanity's affiliates in the state. Called a "State Support Organization" (SSO), SSO's perform this support function by coordinating advocacy activities, providing training and technical support opportunities, disaster recovery, as well as serving as a focal point for disseminating state-wide resources. Habitat for Humanity affiliates are not subordinates to SSOs.

Related High Res Images:

Resolute Team with Wrapped Railcar

Habitat Hammers Back Logo

Resolute/Habitat gift graphic

Habitat Economic Impact

Habitat Florida Logo

Resolute Forest Products Logo

Big Copitt Key Family

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