Building Community Blog

By Michelle Gierke
Guest Blogger and Women Build Steering Committee Co-Chair

The New Year means it is time for the Women Build Steering Committee (WBSC) to get back to work after a brief holiday hiatus and start planning the 2017 Women Build season!   The WBSC is comprised of about a dozen volunteer committee members and one Habitat staff member and, among its responsibilities, the WBSC recruits volunteers, Crew Leaders and Team Leaders for build dates, raises awareness of the Women Build program and even manages to squeeze in some time to celebrate the year’s successes in between. 

Hundreds of women—and a couple dozen men—filled the Hyatt Northstar Ballroom in downtown Minneapolis for the 4th annual Women of Habitat Hope Builders Fundraising Luncheon this past Tuesday. The luncheon raised an unprecedented amountand the highest since the luncheon's inceptionnearly $109,000!

Many guests shared that they were deeply moved by Shauna's speech about growing up in a Habitat home. Shauna, now a sophomore at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, flew in on her day off from classes to share a powerful message on how having a stable home changed her life.

"I'm now 19 years old and fully capable of understanding the great blessing Habitat for Humanity has provided to my family. Safety, stability, and a solid home structure allowed me to focus on my education," Shauna said.

Eight years ago Sheila Kennedy got an email from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity about joining a Global Village build in Mexico. The invitation was very unexpected, considering the fact that Sheila lives in Glendive, Montana, well out of the usual range of volunteers for Twin Cities Habitat. Nonetheless, she decided to go on the trip.

In the same week a report was released naming the Twin Cities one of the most expensive cities for medical costs, a group of leaders from the metro gathered to discuss the impact of housing on health conditions at the third annual Women of Habitat Hope Builder’s Luncheon. An analysis of health care costs by Castlight Health found Twin Cities residents are paying the most on preventive primary care visits compared to 40 other major cities.

Last night, over 30 women gathered to learn more about leading a team during the 2015 Women Build season. Team Leaders are in charge of recruiting and leading a team of volunteers for a work day on a Women Build construction or A Brush with Kindness site. The meeting served as the official kick off to the 2015 Twin Cities Habitat Women Build season.

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