Brandon Linder Building

Habitat for Humanity Jacksonville, known as HabiJax, presented homes to 27 new homeowners in a Friday afternoon ceremony at Milne Auditorium on the Edward Waters College campus.

The Jaguars teamed up with EverBank to assist in the sponsorship of the new homes, including Jaguars players and front office staff volunteering time and labor to assist in the new construction.

“We came out and we were actually able to help build with HabiJax, and it was awesome,” Jaguars second-year right guard Brandon Linder said. “You got into it after a while, that was what was pretty fun about it.”

Linder attended the dedication along with offensive linemen Tyler Shatley, Josh Wells and Austin Pasztor.

“For our home this year, in lieu of using forklifts and heavy equipment, we just used these four guys right here,” Jaguars senior vice president of corporate partnerships Scott Massey said during the dedication ceremony, pointing to the four Jaguars offensive linemen in the front row. “These are the guys that don’t just bring a lot of brawn, but a lot of heart as well.”

Massey added that finishing a HabiJax project that helps the community is just as big as a win on game day.

“We often talk about the wins and losses at EverBank Field are important, the wins especially, but the wins in the community – this is a real win when we can build a home together for the deserving folks here,” Massey said.

“Partnering with the Jaguars, this is our fourth year of building homes together for deserving Jacksonville families and it’s been a great partnership,” EverBank CEO Rob Clements said during the ceremony. “We certainly appreciate the opportunities we have to work with the Jaguars and the partners in many ways.

“Jacksonville is our hometown, and we want to do everything we can to help the city thrive, and helping to build these homes is a real investment in the community.”

Each homeowner had to qualify in a number of categories to become an owner of a HabiJax home, including physical labor on the building of the house. Each had to work over 300 sweat-equity hours on their future home to assist volunteers.

“I like that they actually had to put work in, and it wasn’t just given,” Linder said. “They earned it, and that’s pretty cool.”

Other HabiJax home sponsors included Anheuser-Busch/InBev, Brumos Automotive, Chase, Coastal Construction Products, Florida Rock and Tank Lines and Woodsman Kitchens and Floors.

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