Philanthropy

Teen sister and brother finish building two more miracles

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Siblings Daniella Benitez and Gabriel Benitez
(Courtesy)

On April 27, local teen siblings Daniella Benitez, 14, a Cathedral Catholic High School freshman, and Gabriel Benitez, 13, a Notre Dame Academy 7th grade student, along with their fellow teammate, finished building two more miracles through the nonprofit organization Build a Miracle, providing two more homeless families with fully furnished homes.

This is Daniella’s third Build a Miracle project and Gabriel’s second.

In 2017, Notre Dame Academy had sponsored a home with Build a Miracle. The Benitez kids had gone down to Tijuana to help physically build that home along with other volunteers. After returning from that trip, Daniella was so moved, that she decided to commit to heading up the building of one home a year.

That summer, Daniella took on the responsibility of reaching out to the founders of Build a Miracle, Chris and Julianne North; building her own team of 16 members, each responsible to raise the $1,000 towards the $16,000 needed to take a family from homelessness/living in a shack to living in a fully-furnished home with running water, electricity, plumbing, bedrooms bathrooms, a kitchen, and more; fundraised herself and helped guide her team with fundraising ideas; and scheduled and coordinated the build dates. Daniella and her team built her first home in March 2018.

Last summer, Daniella accomplished this again, and her inspired little brother, Gabriel, who also created his own team and first build last year. An anonymous donor matched the Benitez sibling the $16,000 to build yet a third additional home last fall.

Daniella and Gabriel will be working this summer again to raise money for their next miracles.