Habitat for Humanity calls women to strap on tool belts, volunteer

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

Some organizations are successful because of the hard work and dedication of volunteers, and the local Habitat for Humanity is just one of those organizations that rely on the community's help. Habitat for Humanity is working to encourage a specific type of volunteer to come out of the woodworks.

Habitat says some women may be hesitant to volunteer, maybe they don't know how to use tools, or don't have the skills or background in building. Habitat wants women to feel empowered, and is encouraging them to strap on their tool belts to make a difference building a home for someone else.

She's put together toy chests and dressers, but working on her own home was a much bigger deal to future home owner Kim.

"It's very special. It's very fulfilling to get to know everybody," Kim said.

Through Habitat for Humanity, Kim will be pouring in 500 hours of work into her home, but she's had the support from people -- including many special women -- from around the Valley.

"Our Women Build Program is designed to encourage more women to come out and get involved in the construction of homes," Habitat for Humanity program coordinator Amber Hodges said.

Mesa County’s Habitat for Humanity has worked for years to encourage women to strap on their tool belts through women build days or women build houses.

“[Women] feel like maybe they just don't have the skills, or they don't know how to use those tools," Hodges said.

This opportunity allows women to put their building experience to use or learn new skills from others.

"[Volunteers] teach them how, and they show them, and they're so patient. They'll show you the same thing over and over again, they won't push you," Hodges said.

As the walls of the house go up, relationships are also built between the volunteers and homebuyers. Miquette Gerber first started her Habitat volunteering three years ago at a women build event.

"We were building a house out in Palisade," she said.

Little did she know, the woman hammering away next to her was the future homebuyer.

"She felt pretty special to have everybody contributing to her new home," Gerber said.

Habitat for Humanity strives to provide housing for those in need, and come move-in day, all of these homes already have stories to tell.

"September at some point, but I haven't been given an exact date," Kim said of moving into her new home.

Habitat for Humanity has held eight different women build events this year. The last one of the year is taking place on Saturday, and they would love to have new faces out there.

To volunteer, visit http://www.hfhmesa.org/volunteer and click on the “Volunteer Up” icon on the right. You can also call 970-255-9850 for more information. If you can’t make it to the Women Build day, Habitat encourages everyone to sign up for a regular building day. Those are Thursday through Saturday.


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