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Sylvia Alvarez honored as Lightning Community Hero

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 7:20 PM / Features
Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Sylvia Alvarez as the 33rd Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils. Alvarez, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Housing and Education Alliance (www.myhomeamerica.org).   

Matt Carle (left) and Lightning COO Steve Griggs (right) present a $50,000 Sylvia Alvarez

Alvarez has helped hundreds of families through these tough economic times in the Tampa Bay community by providing them with free foreclosure prevention services. As many people struggle to pay their mortgage and keep food on the table for their families, Alvarez has been a champion for the homeless. She is the executive director for the Housing and Education Alliance in Tampa Bay, a HUD-certified housing counseling agency, and helps people with their mortgage troubles. Alvarez went two and a half years without salary to help the organization stay afloat and even experienced a foreclosure herself during that time period.

The staff at the Housing and Education Alliance, along with Alvarez's guidance has helped more than 500 local families to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes during tough financial times. Her organization is currently delivering more than 360,000 hours of education and one-on-one counseling to over 18,000 homeowners in the Tampa Bay area.