Saturday, 23 September 2017

Women volunteers to build Habitat for Humanity homes – Washington Post

Since 2008, Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Lowe’s home improvement stores to sponsor “National Women Build Week” during the week leading up to Mother’s Day. Over the past nine years, more than 98,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered for the event, and Lowe’s has donated nearly $2 million to the cause.

Locally, the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia will renovate a townhouse in Reston and a townhouse in Springfield. In addition, volunteers and the homeowners will add a fence to a single-family house built by the organization in 2016. The home includes solar panels and aging-in-place features that are critical for the new homeowner and her family.

The homeowner and her family will work on the fence-building project alongside volunteers during the Women Build Week.

“We always have mother-daughter volunteers along with corporate volunteer groups and individuals,” says Noemi Riveira, director of real estate development for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia. “One year, we had a bride and her friends volunteer as her bachelorette party, because she wanted to give back to the community. She was celebrating the establishment of her new household as well as the Habitat household.”

All 80 volunteer spaces have been filled for 2017. The local organization’s goal is to raise $25,000 to support the projects.

“We usually put out our notice in early February requesting volunteers for Women Build Week, and the slots are filled almost as soon as it is posted,” Riveira said. “This is one of our most popular volunteer opportunities.”

Volunteers receive training by Lowe’s at clinics and are supervised at the sites by a “sandlot crew” of experienced volunteers, says Riveira says.

“These are active construction sites, so we limit them to 10 to 15 people per day and are very careful to follow all safety guidelines,” she says. “We have lots of volunteers who want to do it again.”

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