If you’re ever looking for Cesar Otero on a build site, you can recognize him by his well-equipped tool belt.

Cesar said the first time he volunteered with Bank of America on a Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County construction site back in 2011, he blended in so well with the professionals that he said some people didn’t realize he was a volunteer.

“To this day, I always have my tool belt with me, whether I am working a build with Bank of America or not, and always try to be there early and get right to work,” he said.

After volunteering two to three times a year for more than a decade, Cesar took his volunteering to the next level in 2023 by signing up to be a Habitat Orlando & Osceola crew leader.

“I truly enjoy the work, but most importantly the satisfaction I get from knowing that we are doing this to help a well-deserving family,” Cesar said. “It is always a pleasure getting to meet the families that will be purchasing the homes we are building and hearing their stories.”

Crew leader program expanding

Crew leaders play a crucial role in Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s mission. They volunteer monthly on build sites to help guide new, less experienced volunteers and make sure work goes safely and smoothly.

“As a crew leader, I have a chance to show some volunteers, especially those who might be joining us for the first time, what it is we do at Habitat. Some have zero to very little experience working with tools or with their hands, and I enjoy coaching them on the best way to do the projects we are working on,” Cesar said. “I also stress that even though it is not our home, we should still pay close attention to detail, as if we are doing the work on our own homes.”

Habitat Orlando & Osceola is currently looking for new crew leaders to join its mission to build more safe, affordable housing in Central Florida. To sign up as a crew leader, you need to be able to volunteer monthly and complete our free virtual orientation. You can click here for details on the next session.

To be a crew leader, you don’t need any professional construction experience. Cesar works as a Merrill Financial advisor, which is part of Bank of America. He said before volunteering with Habitat, he had only ever done work on his own home.

“Even though it is not easy work, it is extremely rewarding, and something I would highly recommend,” Cesar said.

If you want to get involved with Habitat Orlando & Osceola, you can learn more about volunteer opportunities here.

If you’re looking for resources on how Habitat Orlando & Osceola can help you, you can click here for more information on our programs and services.