Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Habitat For Humanity - Women's Build

About 2 weeks ago I volunteered thru work with Habitat for Humanity on a Women's Build that is happening here in our city. It is sponsored by Cameco and the idea is that women build a house over a month period for a family in need thru Habitat for Humanity. I say a month because that is how long Cameco sponsors the build - after the month is up Habit completes the house from the stage the women left it at.

This was such a fantastic experience. The site supervisor for the event (who also co-ordinates all site builds for Habit) wasn't shy about putting us to work. I volunteered for a day the first week of August along with my co-worker Kristie. When we arrived at the site we were to be wearing jeans, t-shirts, steel-toed boots if we had them, hard hats, protective glasses, gloves the works. They then gave us tool belts, hammers, etc...all the essentials.

They quickly put us to work building the exterior outside wall of the main floor. There were several different groups working...at times we were building the wall, moving dirt around for fill around the house, moving wood, cutting wood etc. Everything a normal trade would do we were doing.

Now I am a little - ummmmm no a lot afraid - of power tools and by this I mean table saws, skills saws, airnailers...I am seriously afraid. Yvan has years, and years of experience working with power tools but I can't not even be in the same area as him when he uses his table saw.

So, every time a woman from our group would use the table saw I would high tail it to the other end of the job site...someone would ask...do you want to try and I would yell "Nooooooooooooo", as I was running across the site....o.k. I didn't run but I did slowly back away and position myself as far away as possible. There were a couple of ladies that made me very nervous and I am still not sure how they didn't cut a limb off.

The weather was hot, 30 above hot, wicked hot, and I moved about 25 barrels of dirt by wheel barrow, not to mention all the stacks of wood we moved and then moved again....I kid you not! It was brutally hot and I drank so much water that I was in the port-a-potty every half hour. I was certainly glad when the work day was done.

Even though I was glad to be done...I would do it all over again! It was an amazing experience working side by side with all those women. Construction is typically a male dominated field and to know that women can build something just as good and just as sound as a man...well...it felt pretty good.

Then there was the knowledge that you are helping to a build a home for a family in desperate need of affordable housing. This is the first home for the families approved by Habit and they are also required to contribute 500 hours of work to the project. They are happy and grateful for the opportunity to raise their family in a house with yard and extremely deserving.

I highly encourage everyone to go out and spend a day helping out with Habit!

The above group of ladies that I volunteered with organized to get pink hard hats for the build. Sweet hey! I had one trades guy say "Hey, I like your hard hats!"

This is our entire group for the day our group and another couple of groups...they were all envious of our pink hard hats ;)


Julie said...

You are amazing! How cool that you did this...very inspiring.

p.s. I, too, am TERRIFIED of power tools!

haze said...

How awesome is this! In the back of my mind is the thought I would love to help build a Habitat house too.

The Warren Family said...

That is awesome! I don't have a handy bone in my body but I wish I did.
That was really nice of you to work so hard and give up your day to help out!!

PS(you asked about using the quote from my blog, sure anytime no need to ask)

Anonymous said...

Good for you Rana!! I love the pink hard hats!

Shauna said...

That is great Rana!! I usually only see the people on T.V do that, but you did it!

Rhonda said...

Glad to hear it when well!!! Pretty soon, you'll be able to whip up your own house with your great power tool skills :)

Sebrina said...

Thats awesome Rana!