Local Volunteers Celebrate National Women Build Week

Women volunteers raised their hammers on a Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity construction site yesterday in recognition of National Women Build Week. National Women Build Week, held May 5-13, is a nationwide initiative of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program developed in partnership with Lowe’s.

This year’s theme, “The Build Generation,” reflects the event’s goal to recruit and train women volunteers, as well as welcome the next generation of Habitat Women Builders – young women, ages 18-24 – to help support Habitat’s mission to create affordable housing. Yesterday, women volunteers in Fargo worked with the Hudson Family on a special project for their new Habitat house. Lowe’s is providing Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity a $5,000 Lowe’s store gift card, as well as in-store volunteer training to support of this Habitat for Humanity Women Build home.

Here in Fargo Moorhead, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity has built 4 Women Build homes. Yesterday, local women build volunteers celebrated National Women Build Week by constructing and finishing a shed with the Hudson Family. The Hudson Family’s new home should be complete by fall of 2012.

Women volunteer at the site of the Hudson Family's future home in Fargo as part of National Women Build Week.

“It’s exciting for us to focus on women this week,” explains Katie McCormick, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity Program Coordinator. “Our women volunteers are passionate about this effort, and they’ve volunteered a lot of hours, learning the skills necessary to help eliminate poverty housing in Cass and Clay counties. Having a new group of volunteers take part has been exciting as well. It is nice to be able to share skills and empower the next generation to carry on Habitat’s mission.”

E! News correspondent and long-time Habitat supporter Kristina Guerrero, whose mother built her home in partnership with an affordable-housing organization in 1998, is building with her mother, sister and 25 women volunteers, in Los Angeles.

“My mom, brothers, sisters and I are living proof of the difference affordable housing can make in a family’s life,” said Guerrero. “I encourage all women to find ways to join Habitat this week. Whether it’s building alongside other volunteers or helping to recruit or train new volunteers, every effort helps families realize their dreams of homeownership. Through working together, we can make a difference in the lives of low-income families in need of affordable housing.”

Lowe’s, underwriter of Habitat’s Women Build program, has committed more than $1.3 million to National Women Build Week in support of 275 participating affiliates. National Women Build Week is one of the major initiatives supported through Lowe’s five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. As the underwriter of the Women Build program since 2004, Lowe’s conducts “How-To” clinics at stores to teach women construction skills, enabling them to support Habitat projects across the country.  Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity and the Fargo Lowe’s store hosted a “How-To” clinic to prepare women volunteers to build in Fargo.

“Lowe’s has been the proud sponsor of Habitat’s Women Build program since 2004,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “Women Build encourages women from all ages and walks of life to pick up their hammers and build affordable homes alongside local families. Lowe’s salutes all the women volunteers who take time to build this week and values the difference Lowe’s and Habitat are making in the lives of families across the nation.”

The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 12 million children—one out of every six—are living in poverty in the United States, where more than 70 percent of Habitat’s U.S. houses are built in partnership with women heads-of-household. Habitat’s Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities. Since the inception of Habitat’s Women Build program in 1998 more than 1,900 Habitat for Humanity Women Build houses have been constructed in partnership with low-income families.