The Greater Mount Airy Area Habitat for Humanity will offer a free construction clinic Saturday at Lowe’s hardware store, with a focus on learning to use power tools and hand tools. This clinic is held prior to Women Build Day on May 4, where the organization hopes to have a volunteer crew with 75 percent women.
Lynn Wilkes, executive director of the local Habitat for Humanity, said the May 4 build site is on Hiatt Road in the Holly Springs community. The Clark family is the recipient of the Hiatt Road house.
Wilkes said Habitat went through an application process in order to participate in Women Build Week, which is a national event underwritten by Lowe’s held during the week leading up to Mother’s Day.
Participants agreed to hold a clinic prior to the Women’s Day Build, with a focus on teaching women skills needed for construction. Wilkes said there were multiple clinic choices, and she worked with Lowe’s of Mount Airy to narrow down the choices, and ultimately selected a hand and power tools clinic, which would teach skills needed for volunteering at Habitat build sites.
After successful completion of the free construction clinic and build day, the organization will receive a $5,000 gift card for Lowe’s hardware store.
Women typically don’t volunteer for Habitat builds as often as men, remarked Wilkes.
“We do have some female participation already…we have women who volunteer and want to learn the skills needed, but the majority of our volunteers are men, so we wanted to emphasize that women can build, too.”
Wilkes said that many women who sign up to volunteer will ask her to “tell them when they can show up to paint,” but Wilkes wants to encourage women to feel open to doing a variety of jobs on the build sites.
“We do have partner families who are required to get sweat equity hours as part of the process before they move into their homes. Those women are immersed into it as part of their partnerships with us, so we have all kinds of stories about women who learned to use power tools, put up vinyl siding, install a handicap ramp, and similar skills,” said Wilkes.
Many women who volunteer to help with Habitat builds often elect to help with landscaping or to provide food for the workers, which is a great help, said Wilkes, but the organization wants to encourage women to feel open to sign up for construction volunteer work, and she said she hopes the free clinic this Saturday will help.
The free clinic at Lowe’s hardware store is scheduled for this Saturday at 2 p.m. No advanced registration is required. For more information about the clinic or to sign up as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, call 789-4663 or email email@example.com.
The clinic was designed primarily for women, but men may participate as well. Those who attend the clinic are encouraged to sign up as Habitat volunteers, but it is not necessary. In addition, those who would like to volunteer for the May 4 Women Build Day are not required to attend the clinic, only encouraged to attend if they would like to learn new skills.
Although Habitat for Humanity encourages women to volunteer all year, the organization holds National Women’s Build Week each year, in an effort to recruit women age 16 and older to volunteer for construction work on build sites.
Lowe’s has contributed more than $40 million to Habitat for Humanity efforts nationwide.
Reach Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1933.