Women Build crew tackles Habitat home in Kalispell

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  • From left, Marla Murphy, Koralyn Johns and Eleanor Chorn take part in the Women Build for Habitat for Humanity on Friday, March 8, in Kalispell. The mostly female crew came together in honor of International Women’s Day. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

  • 1

    Robin Paone picks her way through the Habitat for Humanity construction site on Sixth Avenue West in Kalispell. Paone typically volunteers once a month with her husband, but she came out a day earlier this week because Friday was slated as the Women Build.

  • 2

    Susan Dykhuizen of Ross Construction was one of the women who came to volunteer at the Women Build.

  • From left, Marla Murphy, Koralyn Johns and Eleanor Chorn take part in the Women Build for Habitat for Humanity on Friday, March 8, in Kalispell. The mostly female crew came together in honor of International Women’s Day. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

  • 1

    Robin Paone picks her way through the Habitat for Humanity construction site on Sixth Avenue West in Kalispell. Paone typically volunteers once a month with her husband, but she came out a day earlier this week because Friday was slated as the Women Build.

  • 2

    Susan Dykhuizen of Ross Construction was one of the women who came to volunteer at the Women Build.

A dozen women sporting pink hardhats spent International Women’s Day on Friday helping build a Habitat for Humanity home in Kalispell.

The women’s crew was part of a national Women Build program through which Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity partner to provide opportunities for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities, said Rebecca Wilson, community outreach coordinator of Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley.

“Our goal with Women Build is to empower women to help families build strength, stability and independence,” Wilson said. “We at Habitat have the ability to provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and given these tools,women can succeed in changing their communities.”

Women Build was established in the late 1990s as part of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s work with Habitat, during which high-profile women leaders participated in the first Women Build project.

Lowe’s signed on as the Women Build underwriter in 2003, and since that time the program has doubled. In 2010 Women Build volunteers built more than 1,650 homes.

Women Build opportunities are available across the United States, and any woman who wants to learn how to build a home is invited to participate, Wilson said.

“It’s a terrific way to involve your friends and family of all ages in crucial work with a lasting impact,” she said. “The atmosphere is collaborative and friendly.”

Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley broke ground in November 2018 on three Habitat homes under construction on Sixth Avenue West in Kalispell.

Habitat’s local mission is to eliminate substandard housing in Flathead County and empower low-income families by helping them transition out of substandard housing into simple, decent, affordable homes of their own. To qualify for the program, families must have a demonstrated need for housing, earning 50 to 80 percent of the annual median income for Flathead County, demonstrate an ability to pay a 30-year low or no-interest mortgage, demonstrate a reliable credit history and a willingness to partner with Habitat. For more information call the local Habitat office at 406-257-8800.

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