Blue skies and sunshine greeted the 50 volunteers who turned out on Saturday, May 5th, for Habitat For Humanity in Whatcom County’s annual Lowe’s Women Build Day. Their goal was to work on-site prep for our biggest project – the 54-unit Telegraph Townhomes.
Volunteers helped rebuild a construction shed that needed to be moved out of the way of upcoming construction, and continued work on wetlands mitigation efforts along Baker Creek. There was a lot of mulch moving.
On hand to help were six of the seven Mata family children, who were putting in their final hours of “sweat equity” needed to fund their Habitat home in Kendall. After living with another family since their home in Maple Falls burned down three years ago, they are expected to be able to move in next month! Stay tuned for an invitation to the Mata family’s home dedication.
Habitat partner homebuyers contribute 500 hours of sweat equity toward their new house. That can be divided among family members and performed in a variety of ways, from working on their home to working in the Habitat Store. With Mario Sr. and six kids clocking hours, they were able to fill that requirement easily.
“It’s awesome what you guys are doing,” Johnny Mata said, regarding the Telegraph Townhomes project. His sisters, Jess, Gabby, Michelle, Mari and Dani agreed.
“It’s great to be able to provide homes,” Dani added. “It’s good to know there are still nice people in the world.”
They spent the afternoon helping to add more mulch around the saplings and shrubs planted near the pond at the rear of the property.
The Women Build volunteers were divided pretty evenly male and female. As our affiliate moves into the Telegraph Townhomes project, there are big plans to reboot the once active Women Build program in Whatcom County. Annual Women Build Day is just one small step toward that goal.
“Women Build Day is about empowering women,” Habitat Whatcom Executive Director, John Moon, explained. “It’s not about excluding men. It’s great for our mission, and it’s a win-win as many homeowners are single women.”
As work wraps up on the Mata family home, volunteer crews will move on to Linda Clow’s home in Acme and the Telegraph Townhomes project.
There is plenty of work to go around, with volunteer jobs for all skills levels and abilities.