A Legacy That’s Homemade

In late 2019, we mourned the passing of our dear friend, committed Habitat supporter, and longtime Board Member, Penny Allyn. Throughout her life, philanthropy and serving others were deep-rooted values she embodied.

Penny and her husband Bill helped make homeownership possible for 10 families and took a lead role in our More Than Houses Land Campaign. Wanting to build beyond her lifetime, Penny committed to becoming a Legacy Builder by designating a one-million-dollar gift to Habitat Collier in her estate.

That gift has already changed lives.

Jose and Rosaura lived in a small apartment with their four children. Two bedrooms for six family members. The family subsisted on a single income, as Rosaura stays home to take care of the couple’s younger children as well as their special needs daughter who requires extensive care. Stefany, 14, cannot walk or eat on her own and is not able to speak. She attends special classes at school, but caring for her is a full-time job.

Both parents always wanted to give their children a more stable and affordable home, and a larger place would certainly make caring for Stefany easier, but purchasing through a conventional mortgage wasn’t an option. Renting a larger place wasn’t possible, either. At nearly $1,300 a month, their rent was already at the maximum they could afford.

They came to Habitat Collier hoping to find the answer to their prayers for a home of their own. Little did they know that not only would their prayers be answered, but their family would become part of an incredible legacy.

A portion of Penny’s generous gift has fully underwritten the cost to build this grateful family’s home. This loving family closed on their dream home in the summer of 2021—a home with plenty of room for everyone—and finally feels the comfort, security, and peace of mind that come with affordable homeownership. You can hear this family’s own words of gratitude for their new home, along with other thankful Habitat partner families, in the video below.

The remainder of Penny’s gift has been placed into our endowment which will continue to impact families for generations to come.

With one final act of generosity, Penny has broken the cycle of poverty for another family in this community. As their family grows and thrives, using the foundation of their home as a springboard to greater things, they honor her memory and extend her legacy.