Troy nonprofit donates $5,000 to local Habitat for Humanity build team

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published September 18, 2023

 Carla Strickland, a member of Habitat for Humanity’s local Women Build Team, helps complete a roof at one of the homes they build for families in need.

Carla Strickland, a member of Habitat for Humanity’s local Women Build Team, helps complete a roof at one of the homes they build for families in need.

Photo provided by Dena Vatalaro-Pryde


TROY — A Troy-based group has made a $5,000 donation to a local Habitat for Humanity build team to aid them in constructing homes for those in need in the community.

Four times a year, 100 Women Who Care of Troy selects a cause to provide funds that they raise in order to improve the community. This year, Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Team was the recipient.

“100 Women Who Care of Troy was started in January of 2016 by five women,” said Leslie Accardo, a member of 100 Women Who Care of Troy. “There were a lot of other 100 Women groups before that, but it’s to raise money for local organizations.”

Accardo joined four years ago after being invited to a meeting. She was impressed by the group’s efforts in raising money for worthy projects.

“We’ve given donations to On My Own of Michigan, the Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence, the Troy Rotary, the Troy Firefighters Community Fund and many other organizations,” she explained. “We collect the funds and then pass the funds to the target organizations. It’s an all-volunteer organization. We’re looking to build up membership after COVID. … Members donate or work to collect donations from the community.”

More information on the organization is available at Accardo said that they selected the build team because it was doing something concrete and tangible to help residents.

“We really like the Women Build Team,” she said. “They focus on families and helping other women. It is something actively improving the community.”

Johnna Struck is the chair of Habitat for Humanity Women Build Team and believes this funding will help them continue a vital mission.

“This year, 2023, we are starting our 10th home. We served two families last year with a duplex and will be doing the same this year,” said Struck. “It started back in 2013. We established a team. It took us about a year and a half to get up and running. Habitat of Oakland County approached me about starting a build team focused on women. … We raised about $80,000, and since then our team has grown to about 80 women.”

The connection was made through a common member between both groups.

“One of our team members belongs to 100 Women Who Care,” explained Struck. “Karen Greenwood is on our build team and a member of their group as well. She submitted our group to 100 Women Who Care and we are so grateful for being selected.”

Accardo hopes people will support both of their organizations knowing that they will each help others in important ways.

“As a group, we can make a huge impact,” said Accardo. “We are fortunate to have the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to match up to 50% of our donations. So, when people contribute to us, that donation will make a difference.”

“We raise about $200,000 a year through team memberships and donations,” added Struck. “That money educates our families, which is financial education for our families so they can apply for a mortgage, because we have a ‘hand-up not handout’ mentality. It pays for the third-party services we can’t do on our build sites. We strive for affordable housing, so it also ensures the houses can stay affordable.”

Struck is thrilled that this donation will help change the lives of two families for the better.

“What’s so exciting for us is that we aren’t exclusive to women, but it focuses on women coming together and allows us to do things we don’t normally do in our everyday life. At the end, you see a home get completed and a family move in.”