The Marines are always looking for a few good men, but the local Habitat for Humanity organization is seeking women instead — preferably those good with hammers and saws.
They will be able to put such skills on display Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during a Women Build Day at a Habitat for Humanity construction site in Holly Springs. While Habitat projects normally attract a crew of volunteers wanting to help supply housing for deserving families, a feminine touch is particularly sought at Saturday’s event.
The goal is that 75 percent of the builders be of the fairer sex.
“We’re not looking to exclude men, we’re just out to include women and let them know they can build, too,” local Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Lynn Wilkes explained Wednesday.
“That they can do things on the building site that they think they cannot do — but they actually can,” Wilkes said.
The local campaign to recruit women for the Habitat project is being held in conjunction with National Women Build Week, an observance now in its sixth year which runs from May 4-12. The timing of the week coincides with Mother’s Day on May 12.
“This is the first time locally,” Wilkes said of the Mount Airy organization’s participation in Women Build Day, which is underwritten nationally by the Lowe’s home-improvement store chain.
The requirements include holding a clinic for prospective participants, which occurred on April 13 under the guidance of personnel at the Lowe’s outlet in Mount Airy, and scheduling the construction day within National Women Build Week. Six women attended the April 13 session to learn to use hand and power tools.
Wilkes believes the local event Saturday also will meet a third requirement of having at least a 75-percent female crew. “Oh, definitely,” the Habitat official said.
Since the Mount Airy Junior Woman’s Club is partnering with Habitat for Humanity on the effort, “quite a few” of its members are expected to participate, Wilkes said. “Plus, we have a lot of other women who have shown an interest.”
All women are welcome to attend, either as individuals or part of a group. Builders must be at least 16 years old, but experience is not required.
Experienced personnel, including volunteers from Lowe’s in Mount Airy, will be at the site to teach and guide the women to make sure they are comfortable performing various tasks.
“It’ll just be a great learning experience, I think,” Wilkes said, “and also just show that women are capable of assisting on Habitat houses as well (as men) — not just on Saturday but any day.”
Build Site Directions
The Habitat construction site — the future home of Phillip, Noreen and Ramona Clark — is at 260 Hiatt Road south of Mount Airy.
It can be reached by taking the Holly Springs Exit off U.S. 52 and turning to the right onto Old Highway 52-South and going about one mile. At that point, Hiatt Road will be a turn to the right, with the Habitat site located about a mile down that road on the left, just before crossing a small bridge.
Wilkes said persons interested in participating should call Habitat for Humanity at 789-4663, since organizers need to know the number of people involved for a noon lunch to be provided by Kevin Powell Motorsports.
A volunteer waiver also must be signed to take part in the construction.
Wilkes said that parking at the building site is limited, so participants are urged to carpool. A nearby business is allowing the use of its premises for overflow parking.
“I plan on slinging a few hammers and helping a lot, too,” Wilkes said.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.