Habitat's Women Build House Starts Saturday
Women unite! It's time for the third all-women built house in Moore County.
During the past 21 years, Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills has built 171 homes. The Women Build program kickoff will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, in the new Carthage subdivision, Enroth Place, off Needmore Road.
"Everyone is invited to join the celebration at 8 a.m. and help raise the walls until 2 p.m.," says a spokesman.
One who will really be celebrating is Christy Brown, the new homeowner, along with her 11-year-old son, Diante' and 1-year-old daughter, Alyssa.
"It is such an honor to be chosen as the homeowner for only the third Women Build house in Moore County," she says. "It shows that women do have skills and that we can do things that men do too. I can hardly wait to start building with them!"
Brown has already put in her 300 "sweat equity" hours, required of all adults as a "down payment" for a new Habitat home. However, she plans to work on her days off to thank all the ladies who have volunteered their time and sometimes money to build this special home.
"I am so appreciative to them for giving me this wonderful opportunity of homeownership," Brown says.
While volunteering those hours, Brown has done everything from framing to painting, caulking to siding, as well as trim and landscaping of other Habitat homes. She's also attended 12 homeownership classes that cover everything from budgeting to home repair.
"I have learned so much since applying for a Habitat home last January, she says. "I can't believe my dream is about to come true!"
The Habitat homeowner can have family and friends help acquire up to half of those "sweat equity" hours. Her co-workers and her cousin from Eagle Springs came out faithfully to assist Brown and learned tasks themselves.
"My cousin Jaylin, who's in high school, helped me at least nine times and plans to put it on her resume for college," Brown says.
Brown has worked at the surgery center of Carolina Eye Associates for nine years, monitoring patients to make sure they're well enough to go home. She's a 1992 graduate of Pinecrest High and received her Certified Nursing Assistant certificates for NA I and NA II at Montgomery Community College. After graduating, she worked in the Dialysis Unit in Montgomery County.
Brown learned about the details of Habitat through her sister, Angela.
"She moved into a home on Bonsal Way in Aberdeen last year," Brown says. " I've known about Habitat all along, but really learned details from her. I had no problems with the application process, and I knew within a month that I would be a homeowner.
"My home's location is ideal for going to work in Southern Pines and visiting my mother in Robbins."
Brown feels that one of the best things about the Habitat program is that it does not discriminate.
"I love the fact they work with the families and build affordable homes for families," she says. "Most of all, it's a Christian organization."
She advises others to consider applying.
"For people who haven't applied, come on out," Brown says. "Give your time and money so you can help others get a home."
Habitat mortgages are no-interest loans, and those monies paid by the homeowners go right back into building more houses, known as the Fund for Humanity.
Other sources of income for any Habitat house (approximately $65,000) are from corporate and personal donations, grants, proceeds of the Habitat Moore Store and fundraisers.
The Women Build 2009 program here has had several since December when they sold poinsettias, "Rose Kisses" in February, Mother's Day letter and raffle, as well as the most recent "An Evening at the Bazaar."
A beautiful quilt was a major raffle item designed and made specifically for Women Build by Ellene Place. Another fundraiser was women volunteers practicing their skills by building a playhouse at Lowe's, a national Women Build sponsor. It was raffled and won by a Southern Pines family with six children.
The Women Build committee initiated another way of fundraising through "Half Day" and "Full Day" sponsors. These groups of women from various organizations such as golf, tennis, garden clubs, churches, sewing circles, exercise groups and professional female business associates have collected funds of $750 for a "Full Day" or $375 for a "Half Day."
Over 250 women have signed up to help during the 40-day build, but Habitat needs many more, according to the spokesman.
Build days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturdays until mid-November, when the dedication is scheduled. One can choose to work either the morning shift (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or afternoon (noon to 5 p.m.), and available shifts are noted on the Habitat Web site to registered volunteers. The overlapping hour at noon is for lunch shared by both groups for camaraderie and is donated by Panera Bread in Southern Pines.
"All women over 18 are welcome to experience learning a new skill," says the spokesman. "If interested, be sure to register for the Sept. 12 date online, at www.sandhillshabitat.org and click on the VolunteerUp icon. Panera Bread gives generously to our community, and we want to be certain all workers have a complimentary lunch."
Ellen Airs is a Habitat volunteer.
More like this story