More than 40 women, including Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers, volunteered Saturday on a Bend Area Habitat for Humanity construction site in recognition of National Women Build Week, May 3-11.
Now in its seventh year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities. The week also spotlights the homeownership challenges faced by women.
Robin Cooper, community outreach manager for Bend Area Habitat for Humanity said, "We were thrilled with the turnout of women today supporting National Women Build week at our construction site.
"More than 40 women brought their muscles and desire to make a difference in the lives of three single moms, Christine, Crystal and Rachelle. The three homes we worked on today were constructed with love, and I know our families are better because of it.
"It truly does take a village to help Bend Area Habitat continue its mission of providing affordable housing for low income families and individuals in Bend and Crook County. Bend Area Habitat and the families we serve are very thankful!" Cooper concluded.
The volunteers worked to install siding and insulation on one home, landscaping and deck staining on another and foundation work on the third home in Bend Area Habitat's northeast subdivision.
Many of these projects have provided the women with new skills and confidence to come back and volunteer again.
Actress and author Holly Robinson Peete was helping build a new home in Los Angeles County. Peete, a mother of four, is the national spokesperson for National Women Build Week 2014 and a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity.
"I am delighted to once again support National Women Build Week and look forward to building alongside the amazing women who take part in this special event," said Peete. "A home provides such a strong foundation for families, and this week offers great opportunities for women to join together, learn new skills and help families in need of affordable housing."
Lowe's helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and each year provides the support of Lowe's Heroes and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills.
Lowe's donated $1.75 million to this year's National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Bend Area Habitat as part of a new five-year partnership with Habitat that will bring Lowe's total contributions to more than $63 million since 2003.
In celebration of this renewed partnership, Lowe's and Habitat launched Hammers for Habitat, a volunteer initiative inviting men and women across America to give one day to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for a family in their community. To learn more, visit Habitat.org/Lowes.
"As part of National Women Build Week, we're encouraging women across America to raise a hammer to help create safe and affordable housing in partnership with local families," said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe's director of community relations. "We thank our Lowe's Heroes and the thousands of volunteers who will help strengthen communities throughout the country this week."
The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 16.1 million children are living in poverty in the United States. Nearly 24 percent of children reside with women heads-of-household.
Habitat's Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable homes in their communities. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 2,200 homes have been built in partnership with low-income families using Women Build crews. More than 52,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered at the six previous Women Build Week events.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity's Women Build program, and to learn about Women Build projects in communities across the U.S., visit Habitat.org/wb or the National Women Build Week tab on http://www.facebook.com/habitat.
About Bend Area Habitat for Humanity
Bend Area Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing affordable homeownership and home repair services to low income families and individuals in Bend and Crook County. Bend Area Habitat has ReStores, used and surplus home improvement centers, accepting and selling a wide variety of building materials, appliances and home furnishings in Bend and Prineville. All proceeds from the ReStores benefit Bend Habitat's mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, www.bendhabitat.org.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org.
Lowe's, a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Since 2007, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $200 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility and LowesInTheCommunity.tumblr.com.