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Completion of 10th Women Build house helps Luz escape ‘choking’ rent

There is no doubt that partnering with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity and Women Build to buy an affordable home will have an immeasurable impact on the future for Luz.

Before building her Habitat home, Luz spent more than 70% of her monthly income just on housing. Her rent, she said, felt like it was choking her. Now happily moved into her new home, Luz says she will finally be able to breathe and relax.

Luz immigrated to the United States from Colombia seven years ago, escaping dangerous conditions there and joining family already living here. Buying her own home is an important next step in her journey.

“Having something in this country makes you feel like you belong, and it is the start of everything,” Luz said.

Luz was not intimidated by the prospect of doing construction work on her own home. She said she enjoyed helping other homeowners build their dreams, and hopes to continue volunteering. Getting up on the roof was the only thing that intimidated her, but she conquered that fear long enough to work up there for a little while.

It helped that she was surrounded by so many strong women, working on Our Towns Habitat’s 10th Women Build  house. Luz said she felt like all the Women Build volunteers were not just helping her, but working alongside her—which is really what a Habitat partnership is all about.

Now that this dream is finally becoming reality, one thing that Luz is most excited about is being able to garden in her backyard. She has never been able to grow a garden before, so she has some learning to do, but she says she is going to grow anything she can. We certainly look forward to seeing what blooms in her yard!

Join Women Build as we start our 10th Habitat home

The Women Build team is excited to kick off our 10th house this month! We’re honored to partner with Luz, our future homeowner, to build her house.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, Women Build volunteers will raise the walls for Luz’s home. Raising the walls of a home is an INSPIRING experience for volunteers, the homeowner and the community! Please join us in this monumental moment!

We need you and 19 other women for our kickoff. You can register to build through our volunteer registration portal

After Oct. 27, there are 10 additional Saturday Women Build opportunities through early February to help Luz complete her home. Registration is open for all days, and the schedule of tasks is available on the Women Build page. It is very important to to sign up in advance, even if you’ve volunteered many times in the past–this helps ensure we have the right amount of volunteers for the job!

Looking forward to building with you,




Ashley Hudler
Chairwoman, Women Build Committee

Women Build Brings Us Together

I started volunteering with Our Towns for Humanity through a volunteer campaign while working with Lowe’s Corporate in 2002. At that time, I did not know anything about construction and very little about Habitat for Humanity, but decided to go out on a Saturday and see what it was all about. I was intrigued enough after that one day to decide to go out again in the future.

One of my first major houses I worked on was a Women Build house. At that time, I knew very little about that either, and was amazed to meet school teachers, church ministry leaders and others from all corners of corporate America, all working together to build a house. The one thing they all had in common was a passion for the Habitat mission and a desire to make a difference through building affordable housing.

I was fortunate to meet Manny, our construction manager, on that house. His passion for the Habitat mission was incredibly infectious. Manny also was a great teacher, he knew an enormous amount about building houses and, even better, he easily taught us how to do so as well.

Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build initiative originated in Charlotte and has served to be a critical component of the Our Towns Habitat mission as well. We have a dedicated, committed group of women in our community that love Habitat and recognize the difference affordable housing makes, not only in our families but also in our community.

I’m proud to be a small part of this group and I hope we are able to continue building on this worthwhile tradition. I’m happy to share that our Women Build team has recently launched fundraising efforts to build its 10th home with Our Towns, with construction slated to begin this fall.

If you have never worked on a Women Build house before, I invite you to step out of your comfort zone and come out on the construction site with us. You will be amazed how much you’ll learn, and how empowering it is to build side by side with future homeowners, building their own home and a better future. Visit our Women Build page to learn more and fill out an interest form.

In Faith,

Denise Copeland
Interim Executive Director

We’re Looking for a Few New Wonder Women

What does it take to be Wonder Woman?

With just a hammer, nails and a few boards, any woman can be a Wonder Woman for affordable housing!

Right now, Our Towns Habitat’s Women Build team is looking for new volunteers to come out and build with us! If you’ve never volunteered on a build site before, we invite you to join us for our next Women Build Day on Saturday, Nov. 4. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new friends, and help build a stronger community.

On our next work day, we’ll be building sub-assemblies–which essentially means we will construct the doors and windows that will later be framed in with walls of the home. Whether you have lots of do-it-yourself experience or a total newbie, our construction team will turn you into a pro in no time. Sign up today through our volunteer portal–simply enter some basic information to register as a volunteer, then use our calendar of volunteer opportunities to sign up for Women Build on Nov.  4.

Thousands Build Homes, Relationships Through Habitat Women Build

Early this May, more than 20 women stood together atop a foundation of concrete block, bricks and plywood with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity homebuyer Alexandria and raised the walls of her new home in Mooresville. They worked together with the help of 15 students from Christ the King High School. By the end of the day, strangers became friends and a permanent solution to breaking the cycle of poverty was established.

They were not alone.

On that same day, “thousands of women built communities and each other with Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s”1 across the country in celebration of the anniversary of Women Build.

Women Build began in Charlotte, in 1991, when a group of women raised the money and built a home as a challenge to each other and as a gift to the city. In 1997, “Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter adopted an all women build as the President’s work project for that year, and the idea for Habitat’s annual Women Build was born.”2

Last week, an estimated 17,000 women built homes across America. Women Build is the most popular Habitat program for engaging new volunteers. Women invite other women to suspend their busy schedules, join them on a Saturday morning, and build until the job is done.

Women Build inspires donors to give. This year, the Levine Foundation donated $10,000 to match the gifts raised in honor of Women Build. Half was raised last Saturday morning, on the spur of the moment, as an 8-year-old girl named Maddie bounced from person to person, like a gazelle, carrying an empty paint bucket to collect donations and commitments that would be matched by the foundation.

Maddie lit, for a moment, next to Mariah, the 17-year-old president of the high school group that had come to the worksite to build. Maddie shifted her weight to one foot, and just as she started to make a new move, Mariah stopped her and said, “Wait! We raised over $300 selling pancakes all day last week so we could be out here today and I want YOU to have it!”

We have 15 homes we plan to build this year with 15 families. We are blessed to work with devoted women and men who inspire others like Maddie and Mariah to give everything they have to help others.

I am grateful for you all,

Jeff Porter
Executive Director


Tastes of Habitat

Attendees enjoyed wonderful Tastes from Lake Norman area restaurants at Tastes of Habitat on November 5, 2015. The evening included live music, great food, deserts, beverages and auction while money was raised for the 9th Women Build home for the Our Towns Habitat community.

Zuriyah Clary, the 8th Habitat Women Build homeowner shared her story and talked about her Habitat journey and how much her children enjoyed playing in their own backyard in Huntersville. Habitat for Humanity prides itself in providing new homeowners a hand-up not a handout and works to actively address the problem of substandard housing, one house, one family at a time.

Special thanks to the area restaurants who donated all the food and sweet treats for Tastes of Habitat: Creative Catering & Events, Famous Toastery, Ferrucci’s, Fork!, Jeffrey’s, Jack’s Corner Tap, Mickey & Mooch, Sabi, SunUp Cafe, The Pickled Peach, Whole Foods Market, Maddy’s Fatty’s, Millstone & Bakehouse, South Main Sweet Shop and Nothing Bundt Cakes. Beverages provided by D9 Brewing Co., Crafty Beer Guys, Bayne Brewing, Fine Wine Vinyards and Tryon Distributing.

Our Towns Habitat + Habitat Charlotte

Growing strong together & creating a more powerful force for affordable housing.