Habitat Women Build Gets Under Way
As the rhythmic thud of hammers pounding nails echoed in the air, Victoria Lopez summed up her feeling quite simply.
“Love,” she said. “That is the best word I can use to describe today. There are people here who don’t even know me who are here helping a family and helping the next generation.”
Lopez was referring to everyone who came out Saturday morning for the kickoff of the Habitat for Humanity Women Build 2012. The group included nearly nearly two dozen volunteers — mostly women — who were working on the the five-bedroom house, that will be home for Lopez and her six children. It is in the Midway Gardens neighborhood in Aberdeen.
Lopez said she has participated in numerous builds for Habitat and said that the experience of building a home has been empowering. She said she is especially grateful for all the women who came out to help.
“I feel a real camaraderie,” she said. “When you build something, you use it again and again. You see it over and over again. ... You continually reap a reward from it.”
Lopez’s oldest daughter, Gabriella, called the day “overwhelming” and was grateful to everyone who is helping make the family’s dream of home ownership possible.
This is the fourth Women Build in the local habitat affiliate’s 25-year history.
Two of the homeowners who received those prior homes — Cristy Brown (2009) and Saber Jones (2001) — attended Saturday’s event. Both said they felt a special bond with Lopez and shared her feelings of anticipation.
“You see the foundation and it starting to come together, and all you want to know is what is it going to look like when it’s finished,” Brown said.
The goal Saturday was to compete putting up the walls. The plan is for the home to be completed by mid-December.
The Women Build program is not about excluding men, but about including women in the construction of a Habitat home, according to Habitat for Humanity. When women work on a Women Build home, they learn valuable construction skills in a nonthreatening environment, gain confidence, increase self-esteem and have the satisfaction of helping another woman become a homeowner, according to Habitat.
Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills was founded in 1988 by an interdenominational group concerned about substandard housing and serves residents of Moore and Richmond counties living at 60 percent or less of median income who need suitable housing.
Habitat not only builds its houses with the potential homeowners and hundreds of volunteers, but also provides 25- or 30-year mortgages for the families at zero interest. Since 1988, this affiliate has built more than 200 homes.
On Saturday morning, a brief ceremony was held prior to work starting. Many sponsors and dignitaries were among the 60 people who attended the kickoff, including incumbent Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, who is running for the District 2 Congressional seat in November against Democrat Steve Wilkins of Whispering Pines, Aberdeen Mayor Betsy Mofield, Moore County Commissioner’s Chairman Larry Caddell, Peggy Kirk Bell, Miss Greater Sandhills Kensley Leonard and representatives from the Aberdeen Police Department.
Sponsors for the event were Lowe’s, Panera Bread, Pinehurst Radiology, Pinehurst Medical Clinic, Williams Gynecology, Pinehurst/Southern Pines Area Association of Realtors MLS Board and Lee and Ellen Airs.
Lowe’s in Southern Pines held two workshops this summer to teach women the basics of framing walls and building components, and constructing the pieces that will become the whole house. Lowe’s is a national partner with Women Build projects across the country.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
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