Archive for Women Build

Build Like a Girl

In an industry that’s historically excluded women, we believe our Women Build program testifies to the absurdity of that exclusion. And what better time to proudly present our evidence than during Women’s History Month?

  • 1991
    A group of women in Charlotte, N.C. completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house.
  • 1998
    Women Build became an official Habitat for Humanity International program.
  • 2006-2007
    Across the country, 52 homes were built through Women Build.
  • 2011
    Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s first ever Women Build project housed a 3-generational female household that had been living above a repair garage coping with exhaust fumes and mold.

Our Current Women Build Project

We started building with the Ortiz family at 7535 Leeside Drive in Birch Bay at the end of 2016. Now this Women Build project boasts a foundation, the framing, a fully shingled roof, and interior partition walls. We’ll begin siding the house next week.

Build Like a Girl with Habitat

You don’t need construction experience to volunteer with Women Build. All you need are a sturdy pair of shoes and the willingness to learn. Learn more by emailing Sarah at volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org or call (360) 715-9170.

 

Thank You for a Successful Women Build 2016

2016 WB Group PhotoThis past weekend saw seventy (that’s seven zero, people!) enthusiastic Women Build volunteers at the future home of our Telegraph Townhomes project. What a turnout! Among the volunteers were Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, Bellingham Council Members Pinky Vargas and April Barker, Kulshan Community Land Trust Executive Director Dean Fearing, Kulshan Community Land Trust Board President Dan Dunne, and Lowe’s Store Manager Debbie Yates. We were also very fortunate to have the experience and expertise of the women carpenters of North Sound Carpenters Union, Local #70 on hand. Our goal for the day was to build the framing for a Volunteer Welcome Center that will serve as the base of operations throughout the entire construction period of our exciting Telegraph Townhomes project which is expected to begin in earnest in the Spring of 2017. We’re delighted to report that we accomplished that goal and then some!

Women Build 2016

The morning began with Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County Board President Ray Dellecker leading the assembled group in prayer. Afterwards we heard from Mayor Kelli Linville, Debbie Yates, Dean Fearing, and our own Executive Director John Moon who said:
2016 WB John with VIPs

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to know we have the power to take care of ourselves and build our own futures. At Habitat for Humanity this is what unites us and causes us to gather today. Through shelter we empower. Today, with sincere appreciation to the good folks at Lowe’s and our Women Build leadership team we welcome and thank you as we build upon this ground and take one more step in our journey to ensure that every single one of us has the opportunity for a better, stronger future.

After those inspiring words, our Construction Project Manager Paul Stromdahl put us all to work!

Every Helping Hand is a Building Block

2016 WB Local 70Thanks to every helping hand we were able to successfully complete our project which means we’re one small step closer to building shelter for 24 local families through our Telegraph Townhomes project. To see more photos of the build, check out our National Women Build Week album on Facebook.

2015 Lowe’s National Women Build Event

Saturday May 9th marked our Lowe’s Women Build event. 50 volunteers came out and helped spread fill sand on the current build project for the VanDyken family house. The weather could not have been better! We want to thank everyone who came out and Lowe’s for sponsoring the event. We also want to say thank you to Valpak for providing lunch for the hungry crew.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos from the day.

1 9

Meet a Women-Builder: Alyssa Carpenter

Alyssa

Alyssa frames a wall at last year’s Women Build work site in Ferndale.

Alyssa Carpenter didn’t set out to be a leader.
A couple of years ago, she and a friend passed by the Habitat for Humanity booth at the Whatcom Home and Garden Show in Lynden. They saw some information about Habitat’s Women Build Program and decided to sign up.

They figured they might put in a day pounding nails on the upcoming build. But they soon got a call inviting them to join the Women Build leadership team, a group of volunteers working to organize and fund the build.
“We both just kind of went with it,” she says.

Working behind the scenes and on the job site at last year’s Women Build in Ferndale, Alyssa discovered she had a passion for building, leading, and making a difference.

This year, she’s back as the volunteer chairwoman for the Women Build 2013-14 Leadership Team.

Volunteering on the build site was empowering, says Alyssa, an office manager at a local advertising business. She helped roof a home, and learned to use a router and a chop saw
“By the end of the day, I was cool with it,” she said. She hadn’t had an opportunity to learn how to use power tools before. But on the Women Build job site, she felt comfortable asking for training. The skills she learned have already proved useful in her life, she says.

“You really don’t need to know anything about construction,” she says. “If you make a mistake, it’s not a big deal. They’ll show you how to fix it.”

Alyssa also enjoyed working alongside the house’s new owners, the Julio Ortiz family, on last year’s Women Build and seeing how the work they did together changed the family’s life.

Alyssa is excited about some improvements that will help the project have an even greater impact and also make the build more engaging for volunteers.

Women Build volunteers will be invited to join teams specific to each build day, and compete to creatively raise funds or in-kind donations for their building supplies.

“It helps you get excited for your day,” she says. “It brings in a little competition.”