On Saturday, May 3, a group of 12 women including Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers came together to work on a Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity construction site in recognition of National Women Build Week, May 3-11.
Now in its seventh year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities. The week also spotlights the homeownership challenges faced by women.
The volunteers worked with soon-to-be homeowner Celeste Moore on her Habitat home in Milwaukee’s Washington Park neighborhood. Ms. Moore, who recently graduated from Alverno College, plans to close on her new house later this spring and move in with her one-year old son, Josiah. “I already have a plan as to what I’m going to do when I move in, including focusing on youth and bilingual programs in the area,” she said. “It makes me even more eager to move in. Habitat has really pushed me more to improve the community, because I’ll be a homeowner here. I want to make sure I’m playing my part.”
Actress and author Holly Robinson Peete will help build a new home in Los Angeles County. Peete, a mother of four, is the national spokesperson for National Women Build Week 2014 and a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity.
“I am delighted to once again support National Women Build Week and look forward to building alongside the amazing women who take part in this special event,” said Peete. “A home provides such a strong foundation for families, and this week offersgreat opportunities for women to join together, learn new skills and help families in need of affordable housing.”
Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and each year provides the support of Lowe’s Heroes and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills. Lowe’s donated $1.75 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Milwaukee Habitat, as part of a new five-year partnership with Habitat that will bring Lowe’s total contributions to more than $63 million since 2003. In celebration of this renewed partnership, Lowe’s and Habitat launched Hammers for Habitat, a volunteer initiative inviting men and women across America to give one day to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for a family in their community. To learn more, visit Habitat.org/Lowes.
“As part of National Women Build Week, we’re encouraging women across America to raise a hammer to help create safe and affordable housing in partnership with local families,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We thank our Lowe’s Heroes and the thousands of volunteers who will help strengthen communities throughout the country this week.”
The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 16.1 million children are living in poverty in the United States. Nearly 24 percent of children reside with women heads-of-household. In Milwaukee, about 44 percent of homeowners and 58 percent of renters are living in unaffordable housing, and one in four households spends at least half its income on housing costs.
Habitat’s Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable homes in their communities. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 2,200 homes have been built in partnership with low-income families using Women Build crews. More than 52,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered at the six previous Women Build Week events.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, and to learn about Women Build projects in communities across the U.S., visit Habitat.org/wb or the National Women Build Week tab on http://www.facebook.com/habitat.