The sound of hammers rang out through The Woods at Golden Given at the Women Build Kickoff on Saturday, May 7, but the pounding wasn’t quite loud enough to drown out the joyful shouts of homeowner Deanna Stephens’ three daughters as they played and rode their bicycles around the neighborhood.
“The kids love being outside here,” said Deanna with a smile. The Stephens family owns the home built by Women Build in the summer of 2015, and Deanna said that she is grateful that her daughters have their own space in their new home. The Stephens family has been living in their home for six months now, and Deanna looks back fondly on her experience with Women Build.
“I love Women Build,” she said. “I enjoyed coming out [. . .] and seeing what was going on with my house all the time.”
Deanna also said that her partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Women Build taught her a lot about construction tasks like painting, tiling, and caulking, and part of her misses the process of building her home.
“I’m happy it’s here, but that chapter is over now,” she said. “I was used to working every Saturday!”
Although Deanna couldn’t share the construction experience of Women Build with her three daughters, another mother-daughter duo was onsite celebrating their Mother’s Day weekend at the Women Build kickoff.
Inez Dougherty and her daughter, Kim, spent the day together working side by side on the Common House at The Woods. Although Inez had volunteered with Habitat in the past, this was her first experience with Women Build, and it was Kim’s first experience with Habitat in general.
“[Women Build] was on my bucket list and I’m getting older, so I thought ‘I just finally have to do it!’” said Inez.
That can-do attitude prompted Inez to reach out and invite her daughter to participate in the Kickoff with her as a Mother’s Day present, so Kim made the 2-hour drive from her home in Sequim, Washington, to spend the day volunteering with her mother.
Women Build has been connecting mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends in Pierce County since 2001, and it still remains volunteer-driven within the Tacoma/Pierce County (TPC) affiliate.
Alison Paradise, who has been volunteering with TPC Habitat since its beginning, said that Women Build needed a leader when the program was founded in Tacoma 15 years ago so she put together a team including herself, Vickie Glastetter, and Carolyn Macleod, two sisters who attended the 2016 Kickoff together.
Alison has worn many hats for the affiliate in her time volunteering – photographer, treasurer, Women Build Committee member, and more, but she says all of the time she’s spent volunteering is worth it.
“I am here to support the affiliate,” she said. “I don’t exist without you, and Women Build doesn’t exist without you. We have to support the work of the affiliate.”
The Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity affiliate is incredibly grateful for the hardworking, empowered women of Women Build. We look forward to a continued partnership with these volunteers to make the dream of home ownership a reality for families like the Stephens family, because seeing the smiles of three little girls as they ride their bikes around their new neighborhood makes all of the hard work worth it.
By Michaela Todd, Volunteer Communications Coordinator