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Women Build conquers Home Preservation project in Lake Forest

National Women Build Week: Orange County, Calif.




Jennalee Wright, a first year AmeriCorps volunteer with HFH of Orange County.


When I was asked to write this article, I was proud to showcase our exciting group of Women Build volunteers here in Orange County.

I’ve learned a great deal from each of them and it has been a fabulous week filled with training clinics at Lowe’s Home Improvement, a 5k fundraiser with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and a build day at our Home Preservation site in Lake Forest.

On April 30, our training clinic included a lesson on interior painting with our favorite Lowe’s employee, Jason Murray. We were able to receive animated instruction on how to properly remove wallpaper and how to perform patching, texturing, shadowing, and faux finish painting.

These workshops are truly valuable and many of our attendees that day left feeling confident about being able to utilize these skills at their own homes.

On May 1, we participated in the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s 5k Race fundraiser as an innovative way to promote Women Build’s efforts. This fundraiser supported numerous non-profits who were able to raise money by having interested participants register for their own team. Habitat OC had 15 members and some even joined in on the 5k Walk right after racing.

The night before our big event at our Home Preservation site, I went to bed looking forward to the next day’s events, because not only would I be seeing the advancement of women’s skills on the construction site, but roofing happens to be my favorite construction activity.

On May 7, everyone arrived at the worksite and was given a warm welcome by Linda Grammatico, the homeowner. As she led us around her property, it was clear that she takes pride in her home and that our efforts would make a big impact.

The task for the day was to re-roof the Grammatico home. There wasn’t one woman at our site who didn’t want to be on the roof, whether they were operating a nail-gun or using a power-tool to secure our plywood baseboards. Actually, the ground was the place they avoided.

Jennalee Wright is a first year AmeriCorps Volunteer with HFH of Orange County. She feels very fortunate in having participated in the 2011 National Women Build Week. For more information about HFH of Orange County, check out