AEC Cares Gearing Up for projectOrlando Blitz Build

Can you make a positive, lasting impact on a local community in just one day? That’s the goal when AEC Cares holds its blitz build each year in the host city for the AIA Conference on Architecture. AEC Cares will be tackling their 7th Annual Blitz Build in Orlando on April 26, 2017.

For projectOrlando, AEC Cares is partnering with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida to renovate their Center for Women and Families. The Coalition, founded in 1987, provides services such as shelter, meals and training to approximately 500 people a day.

In addition to meeting basic needs, the Coalition also provides help with daycare services, job skills training, education and financial literacy to aid their clients on their path to establishing permanent housing and becoming self-sufficient. The Coalition provides three programs to the community: the Center for Women and Families, the Men’s Service Center and the Women’s Residential and Counseling Center.

“Compassionate organizations like AEC Cares make the difference between the Coalition being a shelter versus a home. Our resources provide the basic necessities to more than 500 people each day, so we are incredibly grateful when a professional group reaches out to us, offering to go the extra mile for our clients,” said John C. Hearn, President, and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. “We can’t wait to see how volunteers from AEC Cares transform the family dorms in our CWF. It will make a huge difference in the daily lives of those who call the CWF home.”

During projectOrlando, more than 100 architecture, engineering and construction industry volunteers will refurbish the lobby, dormitory hallways and family room at the Coalition’s Center for Women and Families. The Center provides housing for 240 individuals and offers services such as mental health counseling, educational opportunities, onsite daycare and support for victims of crime.

“With the help of 125+ volunteers, sponsors, architects, contractors and manufacturers, AEC Cares will perform a ‘facelift’ for the CFH, renovating the lobby, the living quarters and the TV room,” said Laura Marlow, ConstructConnect VP of Strategic Partnerships and Executive Director of AEC Cares. “We’re excited to partner with the AIA, Hanley Wood and our generous donors to help the CFH better serve the hundreds of Orlando homeless who depend on them for food, shelter, and services. Working together, we can leave Orlando better than we found it.”

AEC Cares began in 2011 when ConstructConnect, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Hanley Wood teamed up to rebuild five homes in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Recent projects have included renovating the Athletic Recreation Center in the Sharswood neighborhood in Philadelphia, renovating a former school annex for use as the Metropolitan Family Service’s Early Learning and Wellness Center in Chicago and renovating Covenant House Georgia in Atlanta which serves homeless and at-risk youth.

Community service is one of the core values here at ConstructConnect. “The ConstructConnect team is an enthusiastic supporter of AEC Cares and its mission,” said Dave Conway, ConstructConnect CEO and President of AEC Cares. “We are excited to support AEC Cares in revitalizing the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s CWF. It is an honor to collaborate with architects, contractors, and product manufacturers to create a warmer and brighter space for families in the Orlando community.”

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, donating materials or volunteering for projectOrlando, please visit the AEC Cares website at

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