It’s that time of year where I’m gearing up for the Women Build Day with Habitat for Humanity. I was introduced to Habitat for Humanity three years ago by a very good friend of mine, Kristal Heise with Mahalo Properties. While Rick had volunteered through his work to work on Habitat for Humanity builds, three years ago was the first time for me to be involved. While there are so many great causes in our city, province, country, and abroad, there are many things that draw me to Habitat for Humanity.
A hand up, not a hand out
As I think about my entire experience, I believe this is the number one reason that I truly support Habitat for Humanity. To be considered a candidate for a home through Habitat for Humanity, there are some qualifications that must be met:
- Have children under the age of 18.
- Have at least one member of the household is working full-time (35 hours per week).
- Do not currently own real estate.
- Have a total family income between $37,000 and $90,000.
- Are willing to complete 500 volunteer hours.
As you can see, these homes are just not ‘given’ to families. Qualified families need to put some sweat equity into their home.
Habitat homeowners build their own homes alongside experienced staff and volunteers, and purchase their homes with a no down-payment, no-interest mortgage, giving them financial stability to build better futures. Their monthly mortgage payments are used to build more homes for more families.
When life gives you lemons…
When we are born into this world, we don’t really have a say as to what our life is like. For some, they are extremely fortunate to be born into families where food, shelter, and clothing (our basic needs) are met. For others, they are not so lucky. Whatever the reason is, some children go to bed hungry. Some children wake up hungry. And some children do not have a bed to sleep in. Some families have just enough money to pay for rent with little left for anything else. Having a bed to sleep in, having enough money for food on the table; having a home to come to is the foundation for a stable future. Brandy’s story is definitely one you should read!
Habitat for Humanity created a ‘Women Build’ day in 1991. It is a week-long event where women are provided the opportunity to take a proactive step in serving their communities. The first year I volunteered, I was so nervous. What were we going to do? How much work were we going to have to do? Well, the first year my team framed and put up a party wall and the second year I tiled an entire bathroom around the bathtub. Yes – you get your hands dirty!
The great part with Women Build is that you don’t have to have any experience. None! Last year, when Abby volunteered with me, she chose to paint. She had never painted a single wall before in her life! And guess what? She did great!
Abby happily painting last year
Volunteers work under the guidance of construction professionals, and also alongside other volunteers and future Habitat homeowners.
Whether you are learning new skills or simply adding a few to your tool belt, this is a rewarding experience for all involved, and improves the community that you share.
Women Build 2018
I’m thrilled to be part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build 2018 once again. Last year I surpassed my initial fundraising goal by 246%. In true competitive fashion, I hope to exceed my fundraising goals of last year.
I look forward to sharing my experience with you!