Local teen siblings, Daniella and Gabriel Benitez, have bonded in their passion for building homes for families that are living in extreme poverty, ever since having been introduced to the San Diego-based nonprofit organization Build a Miracle, founded by Chris and Julianne North.
After heading down to build a Notre Dame Academy-sponsored home two years ago, Daniella, only 12 years old at the time, decided she needed “to do more,” and committed to heading up the building of at least one home per year, starting with fundraising the $16,000 to build a fully furnished home with running water and electricity. Daniella has surpassed that goal, having already headed up the building of three homes with her team. Additionally, her 13-year-old brother, Gabriel, has spearheaded the building of two homes.
After a recent appearance on The Today Show where the Benitez siblings were surprised with a $16,000 donation from GAF Roofing towards their project, along with fellow volunteers, they headed down to Tijuana on Sept. 14 to pour the foundation for another home. They’ll head back down next month to finish painting the house and reveal it to their sponsored family.
Daniella, a high school sophomore, started a Build a Miracle Club at Cathedral Catholic High School, and hopes to lead her club to raise enough for a CCHS-sponsored BAM Home; Gabriel hopes do to the same at Notre Dame Academy.
To follow each of these kids’ journeys and find out how to contribute to their BAM projects on their Instagram Pages: @daniellamariebenitez; @gabrielnaseembenitez.”