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Three days of work in five hours

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Some of Canyon County Habitat’s 50-plus volunteers at work during National Women Build Week.


National Women Build Week: Caldwell, Idaho

Although the weather report said that it was going to be a fair day in Idaho with temperatures in the mid-60’s, we awoke to dark gray skies and a stronger-than-expected wind. However, the planning team arrived at the job site early to set up registration tables and to pull the saws and tools out of the storage pod. We were ready despite the weather!

Shortly, cars began to pull up and people jumped out… the ladies were arriving. Soon, 80-plus volunteers had gathered for the welcome, acknowledgements and instructions presentation!

A week before, some of our volunteers had joined a free training clinic set up in partnership with Lowe’s and Canyon County Habitat for Humanity. The women in attendance learned about framing, pony walls, floor joists and stud walls. Lowe’s provided a facilitator to train the women, and he had such a great time teaching the class that we recruited him to join our Women Build day as one of our team leaders.

Back at the work site today, ladies were assigned to team leaders and everyone scattered to opposite corners of the lot to work on their particular task. Soon, hammers began to pound, and the 2x4 pony walls took shape. We had an assembly line of women standing two feet apart who would move across the foundation nailing the wood that had just been set into place. The women did a “sweep.”

After the pony walls were assembled and shimmed, the floor joists were set into place, and 4x8 sheets of flooring were laid down. Again, the women lined up and traveled across the foundation nailing the flooring in place.

In a little less than five hours, the entire foundation went from an empty hole to a very sturdy floor. Lunch was served and quickly consumed, and we went back to building two exterior garage walls. This process would have taken our regular Saturday volunteer crew at least two or three days to complete!

A big thank-you to our 82 women builders and a few token men! The winds calmed and the sun was shining beautifully by the end of the day; it was a perfect match for our big grins.

Denae Warren works with Canyon County Habitat for Humanity as a first-year AmeriCorps VISTA member, where she assists in volunteer recruitment efforts and resource development. Learn more about Canyon County Habitat’s work at http://www.2chabitat.org.