Heroes of Habitat

Celebrating local heroes

The Heroes of Habitat series of houses was launched in 2019 to dedicate one of each build season's homes each year to a local hero. Honorees emobody the qualities of selflessness, courage, humility, and service to others. They have made a lasting impact on McLean County and/or Habitat for Humanity. Click here to donate to the Hero House


2023 Heroes of Habitat Open HouseCome join us for refreshments and the opportunity to meet our partner family (Wilson Family) and our 2023 Hero (Feli Sebastian)!


Current Hero of Habitat2023 - Feli Sebastian

Feli Sebastian is a retired licensed clinical psychologist turned published author and co-founder of three local nonprofit organizations: 


        1) ExtraOrdinary Women Project BN, that recognizes and celebrates women in the community whose lives are marked with tenacity and perseverance in the face of challenges and serve as inspiration to others but often go unnoticed by the general public,

        2) Labyrinth Outreach Services to Women, that provides comprehensive aid to formerly incarcerated women when they return to their community which is now under the YWCA McLean County (Illinois), and

        3) Dreams Are Possible,  which strives to help women  build their self-confidence and job skills to become economically sustainable.


Feli is also on the Advisory Board of For A Better Tomorrow and a member of the Sober Spirituality committee of Recovery Oriented System of Care, McLean County (ROSC), member of the McLean County Reentry Council, and a Commissioner on the John M. Scott Health Care Commission.  She volunteers at the SVDP Holy Trinity Food Pantry and Garden, Sugar Grove Nature Center and Crossroads Fair Trade Store.


Feli was awarded the 2018 APA (American Psychological Association) Citizen Psychologist Award in 2018 for her sustained community engagement and leadership in working with underserved women and minority populations of McLean County. The Professional Women of McLean County presented her the 2022 Empowerment Award for her tireless work with women in the community. In 2022 she received the Phil Covey Memorial Award 2022 Volunteer of the Year from the Women United of United Way.


Feli earned a BA in History at College of the Holy Spirit (Philippines), a BA in Religious Studies at Lourdes University (Ohio), a Master’s in Guidance and Counseling at Ateneo de Manila (Philippines), and a Ph.D. in Counseling at The University of Toledo (Ohio).


She’s an Oblate of St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, IL. When not busy with her community involvement, she enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, writing, and playing the flute.


Feli released Broken & Beloved, her first book in September 2020.

Previous Heroes of Habitat2020 (moved to 2022 due to Covid) - Sgt. Anthony Maddox

Our Hero of Habitat for 2020 was Sgt. Anthony R. Maddox. He joined the Army right after high school. Maddox's friends described him as “wise beyond his years and ... a rare and special person.” He was a loving son and brother, and active in local youth organizations.

While serving in Andar Ghanzi Province, Afghanistan as Petroleum Supply Specialist and a Heavy Wheeled Vehicle Operator for Foxtrot Forward Support Company, 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1/87 Infantry Battalion out of Fort Drum, NY, he became a role model and respected leader. It is also where he sustained a fatal injury from which he passed away on July 22, 2013, thus making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.


Sgt. Anthony R. Maddox served with honor and distinction. Among the numerous awards and decorations he received are: Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.



2019 - Sgt. Josh Rodgers

In our inaugural year, we honored Sgt Joshua P Rodgers, team leader with C Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Benning, GA. On April 27, 2017 he and fellow Ranger Cameron Thomas died in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. 


"Josh and Cameron proved themselves willing to go into danger and impose a brutal cost on enemies in their path," said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. "They carried out their operation against ISIS-K in Afghanistan before making the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation and our freedoms," he continues. "Our nation owes them an irredeemable debt."


Donate to the Heroes of Habitat House

If you are interested in nominating an individual to be our next hero, please fill out this form.