SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and future Habitat homeowners will work alongside Lowe’s volunteers and all-female construction crews for Habitat for Humanity’s 10th annual National Women Build Week, May 6-14. Habitat’s National Women Build Week invites women to help make a difference and devote at least one day to help build decent and affordable housing in their local communities.
More than 17,000 women, including Lowe’s Heroes volunteers, are expected to volunteer at construction sites across the country as part of Habitat’s 2017 National Women Build Week.
In the Upper Hill neighborhood of Springfield, volunteers will work to frame the exterior walls on the first floor of the house as well as tackle interior walls and prep to start the second floor. “Unskilled volunteers often arrive feeling timid about stepping onto a construction site and being expected to frame, but with encouragement and a little guidance they end up loving the experience and accomplishing a lot,” said GSHFH Construction Manager Kris McKelvie.
This year, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity will be kicking off its next new construction in Springfield as part of National Women Build Week. In support of Women Build Week and Mother’s Day, the annual fundraising event, Men Can Cook, will be held on May 9, where several men, including local business owners, Habitat board members, and others, volunteer as chefs and waiters to put on an unforgettable evening of food and fun to honor the women in their lives. Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield, who has been a local celebrity waiter in the past, will be in attendance again this year to celebrate National Women Build Week as well as State Representative Carlos Gonzales.
Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 to empower women to advocate for affordable housing and spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by many. Each year, Lowe’s provides the support of their employee volunteers, Lowe’s Heroes, and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills so they can feel equipped to take part in the builds. Lowe’s Heroes will be among more than 70 volunteers joining to help build decent, affordable housing in the Springfield area as part of National Women Build Week.
“Through our partnership with Habitat and support of National Women Build Week, Lowe’s empowers women to get involved in their communities, learn construction skills and make a meaningful impact,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We’re grateful to all the women in the Springfield area who will volunteer this week to help build and repair decent and affordable housing.”
Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity. Since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to Habitat’s mission and helped more than 6,500 families improve their living conditions.
Habitat’s first Women Build event was held in 1998. Since then, all-women construction crews have helped build more than 2,500 homes in partnership with families.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program and to learn about Women Build events in communities across the U.S. year-round, visit Habitat.org/wb.