Habitat Newburgh celebrates dedicated builders


Women Build participants at Newburgh Habitat take a break after
working on a house on Wednesday

NEWBURGH – After a hard morning’s work fixing up a home in
the City of Newburgh, local volunteers came together to eat, talk and
celebrate their community service.

Each year, women from all walks of life build and repair homes and buildings
during Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh’s National Women
Build Week.

This year’s project was a property on 24 South Miller Street in
Newburgh and a tool clinic at Habitat Newburgh’s office. Once the
foundation was laid and the walls and floors were intact, generations
of women sat down for a luncheon to give themselves a much-needed pat
on their sore backs.

Habitat Newburgh’s Executive Director Cathy Collins could not be
more proud of the event’s dedicated women volunteers.

“Being a woman leader, obviously, I am very thrilled about the fact
that we have a very strong volunteer community of women,” she said.
“This week, while a national week, is also the time we get to really
celebrate the women who build with us all year long.”

Thus far, seven homes have been built, including this year’s project.
An eighth construction project is on the way, which is especially exciting
for Collins.

“Eighty percent of the volunteers on that particular house are women,”
she said. “It is not as though we are excluding men, we are just
trying to include women in a nontraditional way with construction. It
is not an industry which has been as open or has had as many women involved
in it.”
To this end, Collins had contractor Vivian Rizzo of Hudson Valley HandyWOMAN
offer assistance to the women volunteers.

“I am hoping to complete all of the projects we have for this year
and to help those who are not familiar with doing construction,”
she said.

Celeste Bloom, a longtime volunteer and house captain for this year’s
project, added that while construction projects can be intimidating to
those who have never worked on one before, Habitat for Humanity’s
annual event is all about celebrating the friendships you make throughout
the project.
“It’s a time for women to get together and revisit each other,”
she said. “Some people may think ‘Oh, I’ll go when there
is a new group of people, and they’ll calm me down. Here, we celebrate
ourselves and the friendships we make and the work we do’.”

Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build Week has been held every
year around Mother’s Day since 1991, and the results speak for themselves.
As of 2014, 2,300 homes have been built, and the dedicated community of
female volunteers does not show any signs of slowing down.




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