Hometown: Marco Island
Cause: Help for first-time homeowners
Homuth had hammered many nails for Habitat for Humanity when, in 2011, she had the idea to link the nonprofit with Mutual of Omaha Bank, where she’d worked since 2010. Habitat would sell 188 loans — freeing up cash — to the bank, which would offer them interest-free to local families who did not meet standard underwriting criteria. She then began teaching classes of 25 first-time homeowners how to budget. Homuth spends the rest of her 30-hour a month volunteer time exposing future homeowners — kids in grades K-12 — to real-life math problems. What sets their light bulb off, says Homuth, is discovering how money flows through the economy, from the treasury to the bank to the restaurant to the cleaner that launders the tablecloths.