The last time I held a power tool was probably 17 years ago when I volunteered for 10 months with Americorps NCCC, the residential, traveling, domestic Peace Corps. Today brought me way back to those good ol' days of hanging dry wall, alongside enthusiastic do-gooders, helping folks in need. As part of the Women Build event with Dupage Habitat for Humanity, I helped a family that is eager to make a house their home, just in time for the holidays.
Many might think that Habitat for Humanity gives homes away for free to low-income or struggling families—this is not the case. Dupage Habitat for Humanity builds and sells homes to families at no profit, with no interest on a 30-year mortgage, often using donated materials and supplies, volunteers and extra funds to offset costs. Habitat for Humanity turns dreams into reality by making homes affordable and accessible. And, a lot goes into the decision to work with a prospective family: homes are earned on the basis of need, ability to re-pay a mortgage and 250 hours of sweat equity labor per adult about to live in the home.
Each participating builder raised $250 or more to help fund the cost of building materials and Women Build t-shirts—this is on top of working a full day in the home; these volunteers and team leaders went far and beyond to make today successful and productive.
Today's community build event timeline looked like this:
8 a.m.—9 a.m.: Pampering stations, networking, coffee and donuts—provided by the Breakfast Sponsor, Dunkin’ Donuts
9 a.m.—12 p.m.: Yoga warm-up, led by Corie Rectenwald, followed by building
12—1 p.m. : Lunch, provided by the Lunch Sponsor, Chick-fil-A and short program; Janice M. Mowen, associate representative of Thrivent Financial, provided raffle gifts and a motivating "thank you" speech, followed by building
3 pm: Cleanup
Women Build was an opportunity for women to not only wield a power tool and learn something new but also it was a chance for women to uplift a community, be advocates for affordable housing and share in the delight of working alongside the actual couple that would benefit from a warm home for their family.
Best part: volunteers of every skill level are welcome—Dupage Habitat for Humanity will train and educate all participants. Interested? Sign up!