|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - May 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Women tackle painting at Habitat House
Polk County Enterprise - May 2009
LIVINGSTON - On a sunny Tuesday while the ground was still wet from the weekend rainstorm, 26 women came together to help build a house. It was Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Day in Livingston, and they answered the call. Women Build Day is a part of Women Build Week, an initiative to honor Mother’s Day, and sponsored by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity. The goal is to get women involved in helping build affordable homes for families who could not otherwise afford to purchase one on their own. By using volunteer labor, Habitat for Humanity is able to reduce the cost of a home significantly, enabling economically disadvantaged families to finally take that big step that seemed unattainable.
The day began at 7:30 a.m. with a prayer and a safety meeting, one just as important as the next. With strength and knowledge now in hand, the gang broke into smaller groups to tackle the chores that had been laid out. Building a house is a bit like climbing a ladder, where each task is an extension of the one before. “Everything waits for something else,” said Ray Gearing, president of Habitat for Humanity’s Polk County chapter. The workers were tasked with completing all of the painting and caulking for the interior and exterior of the home and the shed. Some cleared underbrush from the side yard in preparation for the landscaping. The work wasn’t easy and that was evident in the way lunch seemed to disappear.
The carnage of Sonic bags and cups was proof enough that something big had been accomplished. “Everyone divided up according to their own abilities; some couldn’t get on the floor and some couldn’t get on ladders,” Cathie Williams said. She was the head honcho that day. “And I had my chair right here to watch it all,” Ray Gearing added laughingly. He was comfortably positioned in a lounge chair at the end of the driveway in the shade, and there for moral support and advice when needed, but left the work to the women. It was their day. Lowe’s sponsored this Women Build Day and others around the country.
The company even allows volunteers from its own workforce to participate. Other businesses in town who allowed employees to volunteer are Polk County Title, Axley & Rode, First National Bank, First United Methodist Church and CC Williams Group. A few individuals came out to lend a hand as well. The habitat website explains that “Lowe’s is a major sponsor and underwriter of Women Build and has generously supported our efforts for three years. In 2006 and 2007, Lowe’s sponsored the ‘Habitat’s First Families Building Homes Across America’ initiative.