A couple of months ago, I had a friend ask me if I wanted to be involved in the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build Day and join her team. My husband has participated in Habitat for Humanity before though his work so I knew what a build day was going to be like. It involves hard, manual work for the entire day. It didn’t take me very long to say, ‘YES’ to this great cause.
Women Build Day: Getting Involved
Once I reached my minimum $250 fundraising goal, I was able to pick my build day along with my team. As the build day got closer, I started to get excited. I’ll be honest, a bit of that excitment was tangled in with a bit of the fear of the unknown. Although I love to design spaces, it’s not often I get to swing a hammer, use a saw and power tools, and put the space together. The last time I did that was when I worked on my own home renovation project.
When we arrived to check in, it didn’t take long for the buzz to start. The more women that arrived, the louder the buzz became. I don’t know if men do the same thing, but I found as I was meeting ladies for the first time, it felt so comfortable and excitement was certainly in the air. It was evident that everyone was there for the same cause. Listening to how others got involved in this program was interesting too. Some were there representing their companies while others were their just because they wanted to help make a difference.
The day started out with a motivational talk (as well as going over the rules and safety of the job site). I’ll be honest, I was secretly hoping that I was not going to be painting. I know that is a selfish thought, but I really suck at painting and I’m just being honest. I love picking out the colours for people but despise doing that work. I was happy to find out that my little Wheelbarrow crew was going to be working outside (it was a gorgeous day) building walls. Yes – building walls!
Let me just say this, we were put to work right away. Our first task was putting up this party wall.
Can I just say, “Holy crap!” First of all, that wall went up via all of us women lifting it up to the house (and by lifting up I mean LIFTING the built wall UP to the house from the ground) and strategically placing it. Nothing like jumping in with both feet. This party wall had to sit on the cement, we had to have it positioned just right, and oh right….we had to be careful not to fall down to the basement.
After some trouble shooting to get that wall in, we were successful and off to the races!
Women Build Day: Work Day
The rest of our morning was spent putting up the rest of the exterior walls and starting to measure, cut and hammer the interior walls. All along the way, we had our team leader Dana do a great job in explaining what the walls were for (for this particular build we had an exterior wall and then an additional interior wall so I was curious why the added wall on the interior). It was so informative!
My team leader Dana
During our lunch break we had the opportunity to hear one of the moms who is going to move into her new Habitat for Humanity home soon. She spoke about her journey and how her new home is going to be wonderful start her kids. Although I was touched by her entire story, there was one thing she said that has stuck with me.
For me, that hit home big time because I’m a firm believer in having ‘skin in the game.’ These families that will be going into a Habitat for Humanity home have to meet certain criteria as they are just not given to families. The criteria are as follows:
- There has to be a need.
- You have to have the ability to pay.
- You have to be willing to partner.
You can read all about the qualifications in more detail here.
End of the Day
It was an extremely hot day and all of the women worked hard. Although we were tired, hot and sweaty, there was still time to crack a few jokes about caulking, studs, hammers and screws (and yes, we all had dirty minds).
You can imagine what was said about the hammer hanging down!
Women Build Day
I think it’s safe to say that all the women who participated had a great sense of humour and worked hard to make a difference.
I got to handle a LOT of studs!
I was so grateful that I was asked to join a team and be part of such a wonderful day. Although it’s safe to say that I won’t quite my day job, I have no issue with picking up a hammer or work a power tool to help out for a great cause. Thank you to everyone who donated to such a great cause.
Cheers to you Habitat for Humanity for such a great initiative!
The wall on the left is one of many that we put up!