CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 29, 2018 – Since 1888, Belk has been committed to fulfilling the legacy of service and community partnership envisioned by founder William Henry Belk. As part of its community outreach program, Belk: Project Hometown, the retailer partnered with Habitat for Humanity to identify two families to represent the hometowns of the University of South Carolina and the University of Virginia, competing teams in this year’s Belk Bowl. The families were honored during an on-field presentation in Bank of America Stadium on Saturday, December 29.
“College football and the passionate communities who support their favorite teams are part of what make the South so vibrant and exciting,” said Lisa Harper, Belk CEO. “Last year, we launched Project Hometown to strengthen our southern communities through local programs and national partnerships. Belk is honored to once again partner with Habitat for Humanity to build new homes and give each of these inspirational families a fresh start to the new year.”
The gift of home this holiday season
The Pierce family from Columbia, S.C. has been on a journey to homeownership for nearly 10 years, but their path has not been easy. In 2010, the matriarch of the family, Tara Pierce, was declared legally blind after a disease attacked her immune system and deeply impacted her vision. With support from Belk associates and Habitat for Humanity’s Columbia affiliate, Tara will accomplish her dream of providing a sustainable home for her two school-aged children as their home build is scheduled to begin in spring 2019.
“The generosity Belk is displaying through its Project Hometown initiative is overwhelming. This donation will change lives and have great impact on the Pierce family,” said Roy Kramer, Habitat for Humanity Central South Carolina Executive Director. “Habitat for Humanity understands that we can’t change one neighborhood at a time, alone. We are grateful for supportive partners like Belk, that share the common vision and values for our communities.”
The Shelton family from Charlottesville, Va. has been building homes alongside Habitat for Humanity for several years, and with support from Belk and local Habitat volunteers, they will have their own place to call home in spring 2019. Holly and Damon Shelton currently rent a two-bedroom home where they live with their three children, all under the age of seven. The Shelton’s look forward to their kids having their own rooms, building their first home and making memories together.
“It’s going to be a special new year for the Shelton family, thanks to the support from Belk,” said Dan Rosensweig, Habitat for Humanity Charlottesville President and CEO. “Belk is a treasured retailer in the South and we feel so blessed for this partnership, that will make the dream of homeownership come true.”
In addition to Belk’s $250,000 Home for the Holidays contribution, the retailer invited South Carolina and Virginia fans to participate in the Field Goal Challenge, during the Belk Bowl Fan Fest, for a chance to have Belk donate $10,000 to a local nonprofit in the winning team’s hometown.
Belk launched Project Hometown at the 2017 Belk Bowl with an initial five-year, 15-million-dollar commitment to organizations that support southern hometowns and strengthen local communities. In the first year of that commitment, Belk has contributed $3 million through local programs and national partnerships, including Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise and The Salvation Army. To learn more about Project Hometown, please visit Belk.com/ProjectHometown.