Heading Home Intern, Lizzie Wright, shares her experiences as a 2023 Women Build volunteer.

Before I participated in Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County’s Women Build, I had never touched a power tool, or really done much construction work whatsoever. By 5 p.m. on September 13, I had installed windows, used a caulking gun, installed insulation, learned how to use a drill, and hammered many nails. 

Going into Women Build, I expected to learn some construction skills, but my expectations were exceeded. I was able to learn more than I thought I was capable of, which was really empowering. Not only am I now interested in participating in more Habitat for Humanity volunteer opportunities in the future, I feel better prepared to take on some of my own personal construction DIY projects in the future. 

Doing 8 hours of construction work sounded daunting, but the hours flew by. On site, I was given enough free rein to actually learn the skills, but was also provided thorough and precise instructions and help when I needed it. 

Working on a construction site with a variety of women in the community was a unique experience for me. As a student, I am always looking for more ways to make a difference in the Bloomington community. I think it is important to make a difference in the short 4 years that I am a student here. 

Through working with Heading Home, I have learned that affordable housing is essential for success in our communities. With opportunities like Women Build, families and individuals are given the chance to achieve affordable housing. Along with this, they also participate in the house-building process and various home-ownership education along the way. Learning more about sustainable approaches to increasing affordable housing like this is encouraging and inspiring. 

On my build day, I had the privilege of not only working with other women and Habitat for Humanity employees but also Francisca, the mom of a family that is moving into one of the two 2023 Women Build Habitat homes. The experience was truly “all hands on deck.” 

The sense of community and collaboration during my Women Build experience created an atmosphere that was destined for success.