Local women were hard at work building a home in the city of Delaware Wednesday morning.
The Habitat for Humanity of Delaware & Union Counties had nearly 40 women volunteers wear pink and yellow hard hats to help build its 60th home in Delaware County at 252 S. Franklin St. in the city as part of the National Women Build Week.
Due to there being more volunteers than anticipated for Day 3 of the five-day project, there were not enough supplies for everyone.
“We’re five short of everything,” said Linda Warren, Habitat’s volunteer coordinator.
The project is on track to have more than 70 volunteers after this week. Work will continue on Thursday and Saturday.
“It gets larger every year,” said Todd Miller, the local Habitat’s executive director.
When completed, the three-bedroom house will be home to Sara Hoover and her two sons, Xavier Jones, 10, and Legend Jones, 17 months.
“I’m very excited,” Hoover said.
Delaware volunteers included city officials such as Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle, City Councilwoman Lisa Keller, Council Clerk Elaine McCloskey and Assistant City Manager Jackie Walker.
“I can’t believe it’s been 60 houses,” said Riggle, who read a proclamation to commemorate the week.
This is the fifth event for Habitat for Humanity’s local affiliate, but the roots of global nonprofit’s program go back to 1991 when a group of women in Charlotte, North Carolina, completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity House. The Women Build program became official in 1998 and since then all-women construction crews have helped build more than 2,500 homes in partnership with families.
Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer Lowe’s signed on as an underwriter of the program in 2003 and became a sponsor of the National Women Build Week five years later. The company has committed more than $63 million to Habitat’s mission and helped more than 6,500 families improve their living conditions, according to a press release.
Each year, Lowe’s provides the support of their employee volunteers, “Lowe’s Heroes,” and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills so they can feel equipped to take part in the builds.
More than 17,000 women, including Lowe’s Heroes volunteers, are expected to volunteer at construction sites across the country as part of the occasion. The Lowe’s in Union County had 16 employees volunteer for the Delaware project, Miller said.
Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Habitat for Humanity’s Delaware and Union counties’ affiliate.
“Through our partnership with Habitat and support of National Women Build Week, Lowe’s empowers women to get involved in their communities, learn construction skills and make a meaningful impact,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations, in a statement. “We’re grateful to all the women in Delaware who will volunteer this week to help build and repair decent and affordable housing.”
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.