TYENDINAGA – The ladies of Quinte are once again lacing up their steel toed boots.
For the last 12 years, the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build has given teams of women, either from businesses or the community, the opportunity to help a family in need by assisting in building a house and learning some construction skills along the way.
The idea that eventually became Habitat for Humanity started in 1942 in Americus, Georgia, by a man named Clarence Jordan. He and his wife were the founders of Koinonia Farms, an interracial Christian Farming community. In exchange for working on the farm, the Jordans built homes for the people living there. This idea morphed into what Habitat for Humanity is today.
This build is the first year Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward-Hastings has partnered with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, with the common goal of providing safe and affordable housing to families in need.
“This year we actually have three weeks of women’s builds going on,” said Tracey Reid, manager of resource development for the Prince Edward and Hastings chapter. “We might actually add a fourth week, because it’s been so successful in the past.”
Reid added that the two houses being built in Tyendinaga are going to two single mom families. Before getting the house, family members have to put in 500 hours of sweat equity towards the project. Both families have been to the build site as much as possible, with one family volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.
“This is the third set of houses I’ve seen go up since I started working here,” said Reid. “It’s just such an incredible feeling being a part of the whole process, from the build to handing over the keys to the families at the end.”
Volunteering for her second year was Emily Quesnelle, the promotions coordinator at Starboard Communications. Quesnelle and her team powered through the heat and helped to lay part of the foundation for a shed.
“It’s a really cool opportunity to be helping someone in the community who needs a new home,” she said. “At the same time I get to learn about construction and how to use the different tools and equipment.”
She added that volunteering at the build is definitely something that everyone should participate in if they ever get the chance. Quesnelle said she plans to keep on volunteering.