”You can just feel the energy right?” asked Island County Habitat for Humanity Resource Development Manager Kathy Blair. “It’s just different.”
Forty women and a couple of men volunteered during the Habitat’s Women Build 2021 event this past weekend in Oak Harbor. The organization is building two townhomes on Southeast 10th Avenue on donated land.
There, the women raised walls, caulked in a basement and helped the building process move forward.
“It gives the women a chance to get out and do some of the trade type stuff,” Blair said. “While there are men participating, it’s something that gives women the opportunity to do something they probably don’t do all the time. “
Samantha Zenger spent most of the day caulking the basement with a fellow volunteer before walking upstairs to write messages on the walls to the new homeowners. It was her first build.
“I thought it would be fun and a good way to participate in the community,” Zenger said.
Upstairs, a group of women was busy with nail guns and levels as they prepared to raise the exterior walls of the structure.
Shelby Bassett said she had always wanted to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and the weekend’s build was also her first time volunteering on a project.
“I thought, ‘That’s the day to go out and learn how to use some tools,’” she said. “Plus it’s a way to help the community and meet some like-minded people, and I have.”
The 1,525-square-foot townhomes should be finished by the end of the year, Blair said. They will be the 51st and 52nd homes the local house-building group has built.