by Geneva Hall-Shelton
Beginning next week, dozens of Atlanta women will come together to construct a safe, energy-efficient home for a working Atlanta family. The 2012 Atlanta Women’s Build takes place Aug. 18 – Oct. 6, continuing a growing city tradition of women building Atlanta Habitat homes for women.
Led for the second year by honorary co-chairs Brenda Wood and Lane Carlock Howard, the Atlanta Women’s Build started in 2003, with women joining forces to complete beautiful homes for five qualified families. This year’s build will include a special Executive Women’s Build Day on Sept. 20 led by female leaders in business and nonprofit positions.
“After last year’s success, we’re very excited to have gained the momentum to build again this year,” said Alexandra Balzer, steering committee chair.
“Experience with hanging siding or installing cabinets is not necessary,” Balzer said. “Camaraderie and spirit guide the project, and Atlanta Habitat’s excellent house leader provides leadership and expertise. Many of last year’s volunteers have already signed up for the fun and skill-building that takes place.”
The project is directed by a female construction leader, a veteran of Atlanta Habitat’s staff, and a field of skilled women supervisors, many of whom volunteer regularly at build sites.
“This project was originally launched by a group of long-time Atlanta Habitat volunteers, women committed to applauding the achievement of others,” said Larrie Del Martin, president and CEO of Atlanta Habitat.
“This year we’re building for the McMichael family, who, like all our homebuyers, has met financial, sweat equity, and education requirements to qualify for our program. We’re so grateful to the women in this community who reach out to support our organization, and most importantly, our families and children.”
Leading up to the start date, the committee must raise the $80,000 needed to cover some of the upfront cost of materials. Labor is provided by the women volunteers who work together for seven weeks.
For more information on the 2012 Atlanta Women’s Build or to donate and volunteer, please visit the Atlanta Habitat website at www.atlantahabitat.org or call me at 404.223.5180, ext. 130.
Ms. Hall-Shelton is Sponsorship Manager for the Grant Park-based Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.