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We are operating virtually until further notice: Read the details. Habitat homeowners: Click for support.

    See how Women Build is multiplying the impact!

    Sharon Pfeiffer

    Women Build Volunteer

    Sharon PfeifferSharon Pfeiffer has been a volunteer with Habitat since 1999, and working specifically with Women Build since 2007. She has worked on over half the Twin Cities Women Build homes, and is proud to be part of a program that does so much for everyone who is involved.

    “Women Build is empowerment. From the volunteer women builders who find pride and personal growth through their experiences on site, to the homebuyers and their families who will find the opportunities that come with the help of a stable, safe, and affordable home where they can all thrive.”

    Sharon enjoys volunteering as a way for her to share her blessings as well as to use the gifts that she has been given. She also likes the opportunity to learn new things and skills, meet new people, and to participate within the community more meaningfully. Through every single Women Build experience, Sharon says that she is able to grow. She has learned that it is really about the journey, living within the moment, and then fully appreciating shared experiences.

    “I see women inherently blessed as nurturers and creators, they pursue the best for their families and this translates to a pursuit for the best for their communities. Women are a vital and strengthening part of the fabric of our communities, and I am delighted to be a part of an organization that empowers them to achieve more than they might otherwise.”

    Lisa Belvito

    Women Build Volunteer

    Lisa BelvitoLisa's Habitat story began at the age of 45, when she says she "woke up one morning and realized I wanted to do more with my life than earn a living and have fun." She says she had reached the point in life where she wanted to give back to the community, and she began her search and started to dabble in volunteer activities.

    "I’ve always loved to build things so I thought – why not Habitat? – they build houses for families in need. Little did I know, when I attended my first orientation that I would still be so involved 10 years later."

    Lisa's first Habitat experience was as a volunteer home visitor to families in their Habitat homes. While she found the work interesting, she also began to learn more about what Habitat really stands for, and felt a pull to do more than visit families once a quarter.

    After she was laid off from her job in 2006, one of Lisa's first calls was to Habitat:

    "I now had time to actually work on a house. I showed up for my first “build” experience with this crew called Women Build in North Minneapolis. And I was hooked! Despite the fact that I was a newbie, every woman on the site was warm, welcoming, and willing to teach me anything I wanted to learn. It became quickly clear that this is one of the greatest things about Women Build; this willingness to help and to teach with patience and make it fun at the same time."

    Lisa continues to volunteer with Women Build, because she loves having the opportunity to empower other women to explore new paths and build new lives. Through Women Build, Lisa is able to help other women have a stable, affordable home of their own, and empower all women who want to grow, learn, and give back to the community.

    Sharon Mason

    Women Build Volunteer

    Sharon MasonSharon Mason has been involved with Twin Cities Habitat for the past 15 years, living out her belief that women should lend their time, talent, voice, and resources to strengthen the community around them.

    Sharon admires the way that women collaborate through Women Build to get the job done. She's inspired by the volunteers' energy, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and willingness to jump in and complete tasks they may never have attempted before.

    "The fact that we are building a home and lending strength to a family resonates with women. To see that finished house, ready for a family, constructed by teams of women is just magnificent and uplifting!"

    Both conviction and hope continue to motivate Sharon in her work. Her conviction is that substandard housing is unacceptable and unconscionable, and that it negatively impacts the entire community. Her hope is that together, we are able to drastically alter the landscape to the point where everyone has access to decent, affordable, safe, and healthy housing. Through her experience with Women Build, Sharon has learned that she is able to accomplish much more with a team of women than she can accomplish on her own and that Women Build is a transformational force for both women who engage in building a house and for the family who will thrive as the new homeowners.

    Ann Hoven

    Women Build Volunteer

    Ann HovenLeadership, community support, and innovation. That's what Ann believes her and other women's roles should be within their communities.

    Ann has been involved with Twin Cities Habitat for roughly 20 years, and she continues her volunteer work with the motivation that she is "paying it forward." Ann enjoys working with the all-women build crew, and especially likes the fact that she is doing something different from her day-to-day life. She also believes that the Women Build program helps in giving deserving families "a leg up" to improve their lives.

    "I learn something new each time I go [to a Women Build site]. I have met some great people, and I am regularly astonished at the resilience and dedication of the Habitat homeowners."

    Ann also shared another reason why Women Build is so important to her:

    "Our group got going in force a number of years after several individuals (including Pam Svihel, my co-lead, and me) had been individually volunteering for a number of years, somewhat episodically. We were looking for a way to honor the memory of our good friend Jane Ronhovde after her death from a slow growing and rare cancer. We decided on Women Build and named the team after herthus, "Jane’s Gang" came into being."

    CJ Fitzsimons

    Women Build Volunteer 

    CJ FitzsimonsAfter retiring from an extremely rewarding career with the Air Force, CJ says she wanted to continue to "give back and be a part of something greater than myself" and Women Build turned out to be a perfect fit.

    “It's a great cause to dedicate my time and skills, knowing I'm helping others have the security and freedoms to reach their full potential.  Without a proper foundation and roots, nothing can flourish.  Knowing I'm contributing to a family wanting to provide the opportunity for each of them to have a better quality of life; is all the motivation I need to keep going out to the site each time.”

    CJ experienced her first Women Build volunteer day in 2011, became a Crew Leader that same year, and joined the Women Build Steering Committee in 2012.

    “I feel blessed to have the ability to continue to build each week, share my skills, learn new ones, and make lifelong friends -- all while serving the home owners and community as a whole. I love the camaraderie on site and getting to teach and encourage the volunteers to try something they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do.  When they've done it and they get that huge grin of ‘hey I did that’- that's what it’s all about.”     

    CJ volunteers on site two days a week, and enjoys being able to work as a team and build a home and future for a deserving family. She loves learning new things and feels that seeing the house from start to finish is incredibly rewarding. After the Women Build days are officially done, she continues volunteering on site year-round by helping with the inside finishing work, and gets to share her love of teaching and working with kids by volunteering to help at Youth Group Workshops. You’ll often find her at home dedications, where her favorite thing is seeing the gratitude and joy on the owners faces, and the honor she feels to have shared in building their home and hope for their future.   

    “The desire and calling to share what God has blessed me with, motivates me to continue building, find new opportunities to give back, and reach others one smile at a time.  It's innate and is what lead me to reach out to the MN Lynx for the A Brush with Kindness kick-off event back in 2013; as well as start the annual Women Build - Lynx Night.  I'll continue to find new things and do my best to enhance the lives of all who are connected to Habitat and Women Build.”    

    Diane Blake

    Women Build Volunteer

    Diane BlakeDiane and her husband began supporting Habitat for Humanity International during the late 1980’s when they heard about Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s commitment to Habitat. They were inspired by the couple and were drawn to Habitat’s mission of helping people build homes, because there is such an essential need both abroad and in the United States. They were also drawn to the faith in action aspect of the mission. Diane and her husband started contributing to Twin Cities Habitat as the program began to grow.

    As Diane neared retirement age, someone from Twin Cities Habitat development team contacted her to see if she was interested in a more personal volunteer involvement. Diane started by volunteering for the homeowner interview committee and later joined the Woman Build committee. She has also served on the Women of Habitat Hope Builders Luncheon committee. 

    When asked about the Women Build committee, Diane says, "It has been a perfect fit for me to further Habitat’s mission and to involve friends, family and church in volunteering. It has been rewarding to work with and meet with families, volunteers and staff. Habitat has so many volunteer opportunities. Give them a try!"

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