This past week, from all parts of the world, women were not responsible for cleaning houses – they were building them.
May 5 was the start of Habitat For Humanity’s national Women Build Week, a program for women who want to learn construction skills and build homes for their communities.
Dorchester Habitat for Humanity started the week by having women raise the walls for the new home of Jennifer and Craig Blewer, a Summerville couple who plan to move into their three-bedroom abode by the end of the summer.
Many volunteers crowded onto the family’s lot Monday morning to participate, including groups from Home Depot, Lowes, Suntrust, First Emmanuel Church, the Zaxby’s in Summerville and Margie Pizarro of Pizarro Law Firm. Lowes serves as the primary sponsor for Women Build Week, and also provided in-store how-to clinics where volunteers could learn construction skills in preparation for the week-long event.
Mitzi Sneed, a manager with Home Depot, has been with the store for 20 years and said she feels a sense of pride when her store gives back to the community.
“We hope to learn to work as a team,” she said. “We’re all here to work together for this couple’s new house.”
At 8 a.m. May 5 the volunteers banded together to lift the framed walls of the house and then nail them into place. The beams that made up the frames were previously decorated by students from Flowertown Elementary’s student council. Students drew pictures and wrote well-wishes for the Blewers, which will forever remain in the walls of the couple’s new home.
Jennifer and Craig Blewer have been volunteers with Habitat for Humanity for a year.
“It’s been a blessing – we’re on cloud nine,” Jennifer said. “We’re extremely happy and thankful for everybody. I can’t say it enough.”
The house will have four bedrooms and two full baths. The house will also accommodate the couple’s four children.
“It’s a blessing just being a part of it and sharing with each other the happiness,” Craig said.
Monica Nagy, development manager for Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, said she hopes women feel empowered through their experience volunteering in Women Build Week.
“I hope they get a sense of community and are empowered to do more for themselves and for others,” she said.
Women Build carried on through Friday with women hammering away from 8 a.m. until noon. Other organizations who came to donate their time included Atlas Tech, Mary Kay, groups from Summer Brook Church, a team from Pizarro Law Firm, Alcoa and regular volunteers from the community.