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Habitat for Humanity empowers through Women Build
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Habitat for Humanity empowers through Women Build

HANFORD — Construction continues on Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties’ newest home, and they had a couple of extra volunteers on Wednesday.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 403 W. Cameron St. was part of Women Build, which saw approximately 10 local women come out and learn new skills.

“This is an opportunity to have local women come out and learn the construction process,” Deanna Saldana said. “We can have a Women Build throughout the process that could be a painting day, it could be a roof raising day, it could be a wall raising day.”

Saldana, the resource development director for Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties, said that this is the first time the Women Build has taken place since they raised walls in 2016.

“It was so much fun, so we were really pleased that we were able to pull this together again this year,” Saldana said.

One of Saldana’s messages for the Women Build was “Don’t think you can’t.”

“You can fix a toilet, you can paint your house, you can do all of these construction skills and this gives [the women] a really good platform,” she said. “We wanted to have the opportunity here in Tulare and Kings Counties to let women come out and raise walls.”

Early on Wednesday morning, the group was busy hammering boards into place and helping put together what will become the first walls of the home.

“Hopefully, we can get this whole thing framed up which means the basic foundation for the walls and then the roof, and then eventually they’ll raise that as well,” Olivia Fox, a volunteer, said.

Kristine Lee, another volunteer, said she received an email and thought it would be a good way to help the community and those that need some extra help.

“It’s really fulfilling to be able to give back to the community in ways that I wouldn’t have thought possible before,” Lee said. “It gives you a little bit of gratitude and almost a sense of accomplishment to help in those ways.”

She also said the Women Build was important to showcase that women are just as capable of working like men.

“It’s important for women to contribute to some of these projects that are traditionally man-type projects,” Lee said. “It helps us to feel that we can do the things right along with the men and go forward and try to do our best to help as well.”

Saldana said Habitat for Humanity is hoping to have 20 women in total since Women Build will also take place on Thursday.

“A lot of times when volunteers come out, they get that real sense of community that a lot of other nonprofits don’t quite get,” Saldana said. “They can drive by this house in a year and a half and say, ‘I helped build that.’”

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