Guest Blog by Lynne Liebrenz
Women Build Committee Member & Volunteer
When you think of Women Build volunteers, whom do you immediately think of? A retiree? A corporate executive? A college student? An AmeriCorps resource? Adult women celebrating a birthday or long-standing friendships? A group of women honoring the memory of a coworker, family member, or friend?
All of these and more are great possibilities! And, did you know that volunteers as young as 16 can be on a build site, with parent/guardian approval? It’s true!
As a project manager, I help with coordinating corporate volunteers to participate with Habitat builds through my employer. In 2011, there was a rare day that we had a shortage of employee volunteers to fill a build site. I was concerned at the thought of not having enough volunteers onsite to fulfill the planned tasks for the day, as we were committed to helping keep the project schedule stay on track.
It was the middle of summer, and I knew many high school students were not in school, or didn’t have jobs lined up. I called my daughter (then 17 years old) and explained the situation and she agreed to join us for the build. She took the initiative and recruited several of her friends to join her as well.
The next day, they each presented their respective volunteer waivers, with parental signature approval. After the morning safety speech, they eagerly went to work on their assigned tasks. For all of them, that build day was their first experience volunteering with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. A seed was planted on that day. In the years since that build, my daughters and many of their friends continue to support Habitat via new home construction builds, home rehabilitation projects, and A Brush With Kindness events.
As you consider building your Women Build teams, consider the younger generation: daughters, nieces, cousins, family friends, etc. The confidence and self-assurance they gain on a build site will add to their foundation of giving back and becoming leaders in the community.
These ladies are the future of Women Build. Inspire them. Invite them. Involve them.