Women Build for Habitat for Humanity in Birmingham

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Tanquenekia Dunning in front of her new home in the Cascade Plunge development. Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham

Habitat for Humanity recently made an appeal to women in our community to participate in Women Build days–and women across Birmingham delivered.

A home for Mother’s Day

Just before Mother’s Day last month, Tanquenekia Dunning, mom of two young children, was presented with the keys to her new home. This would not have happened without her hard work as well as the work of almost 200 volunteers spending 1,400 hours of their time.

Women Build: Habitat for Humanity

Vulcan Materials Company employees at the Women Build in Eastlake. Photo courtesy of Vulcan Materials Company

The build was part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program. It is a national campaign that just completed its second year in Birmingham. As part of the initiative, women-led teams fundraise and lead the efforts on building a new home for a member of the community.

One of the participants was Vulcan Materials Company. “This group of Vulcan women came together to understand the build process and, with other women around Birmingham, contributed the sweat equity needed to make a difference in the life of a single mother in our community. It was personal to all of us,” said Carol Maxwell, manager of Vulcan’s Foundation.

Alexandra Emets cutting door frames at the Habitat for Humanity Women Build last month. Photo courtesy of Vulcan Materials Company

“This experience, for me, created a sense of togetherness and unity as women. As I once read, ‘Togetherness can be defined as a feeling of satisfaction in being united with other people for a specific purpose.’ And our purpose was to help a family’s dream of being homeowners come true!”

Katrina Ewing, Vulcan Materials Company

The home built by the women at Vulcan Materials and others is located at the Cascade Plunge property in Eastlake. Corporate groups spearheaded by Momentum, a local  women’s leadership organization, worked onsite every day for eight weeks to build the home. The build presented an opportunity for women to use their talents and learn new skills. Volunteers participated in all parts of the build, including constructing and installing window sills and closet shelving, hanging siding, painting and laying sod.

“Our hope for having women join us on the site is for them to have a hands-on opportunity to connect with one another, promote volunteerism and learn new skills.”

Rochelle Belton, Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham
Vulcan Materials workers at the Habitat for Humanity Women Build last month. Photo courtesy of Vulcan Materials Company

Access to housing

Men, women and children across Birmingham need access to housing, and Habitat for Humanity is making it possible. Potential homeowners are required to spend time building homes for Habitat and attending educational programs. They work to save for a down payment and meet the qualifications of a mortgage, and they’re responsible for paying the mortgages on their homes.

Habitat’s efforts are also revitalizing communities. The organization is rehabilitating neighborhoods and maintaining them for future generations.

“Her [Dunning’s] home is not only an investment in herself, but also in her community.”

Rochelle Belton, Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham
Harley Englebert and Anita Massey learning a new skill at the Habitat for Humanity Women Build last month. Photo courtesy of Vulcan Materials Company

Get involved

If you missed out on the Women Build this year, there are still opportunities to participate with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteer registration for the Homeowner Blitz–in which 13 homes will be built in just one week–is in August. Habitat also welcomes volunteers anytime–check out the volunteer calendar on their website.

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