Habitat for Humanity kicks off annual Women Build

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build kicked off Saturday. More than 300 local women partnered with Habitat for the 10th annual Women Build.

Women work in the month-long event to help Habitat families build strength, stability and independence through home-ownership. Women Build seeks to engage and empower women through volunteering, fundraising and advocacy for the opportunity of affordable home-ownership provided through Habitat. 2017 is the 10th year locally.

The event began Saturday at 8 a.m. with the framing of a new home for Allison Massey in the Fuller Landing neighborhood in Northern Fort Wayne. Massey is a mother of a two-year-old daughter and works multiple jobs.

“She’s two-years-old,” Massey said. “No more moving. She has her own room. Somewhere to grow up and just really make memories and just one house to stay in for a really, really long time for her. Her name is Alliyana and really she’s just what I do everything for. She’s the best thing in my life.”

The women will work on two other homes in the Fuller Landing neighborhood. They’ll build for Thoo Lay, Aye Way and their four children and Lisa Stiles and her 16-year-old niece. Stiles’ neice has cerebral palsy, which makes the apartment they currently live in inconvenient. She says she already packed for the move.

“A place that we can actually call home,” Stiles said. “A place that she’ll feel comfortable because right now we are in an apartment and it’s not handicap accessible for her. I can’t get her wheelchairs in there. With this house the wheelchair will be able to get in.”

Volunteers and fundraising was such a success this year, Habitat added one more week to the project. It ends Saturday June 3rd. The goal was to get together 20 more teams of five women each, adding to the 60 teams already signed up.

Each member was encouraged to raise $200 each. That money helps reach the 2017 Women Build goal of $108,000 toward construction costs. Individuals and teams already raised more than $28,000.

Additional business and church partners included Parkview Health, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance, The Chapel and Lowe’s.

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