Lifestyle

Local student heads up building a home and distributes $10,000 worth of clothing through nonprofit Build a Miracle

Daniella Benitez, 14, a freshman at Cathedral Catholic High School, has spearheaded another building of a home for a family in need in Tijuana, Mexico, with the nonprofit organization Build a Miracle. A year ago, Daniella and her family had participated in building a home while she was still a student at Notre Dame Academy. After that life-changing experience, Daniella “wanted to do more,” and committed to building at least one new home a year with Build a Miracle.

As it takes $16,000 total to build and furnish a home, Daniella enlisted other fellow Notre Dame Academy families, along with relatives and friends, each responsible for raising $1,000. Through babysitting, bake sales and chores, the team was able to raise the funds by the end of summer 2017, allowing for the building of Daniella’s first team home this past spring.

Daniella has done it again!

This past summer, Daniella headed up another team, including her Notre Dame Academy friends, such as the Fogliani family, the Konecke family, the Simone family, the Zakar family, along with her older sister Alexis Jammo and her friends, her cousin Tony Balian, her aunts Bessma Loussia and Dena Toma, the Barron family, the Benny family, the Dickow family, the Grillo family, the Loussia family, the Salem family, the Kalil family and more, raising another $16,000. She even enlisted the support of Ryan Seacrest, who had her on his radio show, “On Air With Ryan” this month, and donated $1,000 to her ongoing project.

Daniella and her fellow volunteers headed down to Tijuana Oct. 13 to mix the concrete and pour the foundation for her next home.

At 12 years old, Daniella’s little brother, Gabriel, a 7th grader at Notre Dame Academy was inspired to head up the building of his own home with Build a Miracle. Though creating his own team, Gabriel successfully raised an additional $16,000 this past summer, and will start building his team’s house in Tijuana, Mexico on Nov. 3.

An anonymous donor has matched the Benitez kids’ fundraising, allowing for the building of yet another home.

Daniella was recently appointed to Kidbox’s Kids Board of Directors due to her philanthropic efforts, as Kidbox is a fashion brand committed to clothing one million children. They recently awarded Daniella $10,000 worth of new clothing to donate, which she and her fellow BAM volunteers handed out during their Oct.13 build date at the Build a Miracle Community Center, gifting an excited and grateful group of 50 kids in the community with high-quality outfits.

On Nov.3, Daniella and her fellow volunteers will paint and furnish her team’s home, and reveal it to their newly “adopted family.”

Daniella said, “I can’t wait to finish our newest family’s home. I hope to always stay part of our ‘adopted families’ lives. I’m grateful that Build a Miracle has allowed me to create these bonds.”

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