Now that WLTSTF is in its second year, we’re starting to “swing through the lineup a second time.” As it were.
The Long Suffering Wife, as we recall, is on the Board of Directors for the local Habitat For Humanity chapter. Last year I wrote about how the physical challenges of the “Women’s Empowerment (WE) Build” pretty much kicked my ass. Today was this year’s WE Build event,which allowed many strong & powerful women (the best kind!) to get out there and hammer, saw, assemble, build, and paint. And this year there was a new torture to remind me how old and out of shape I might be. (“Might be” = “am.”)
The build is set up with about 95%+ women there, each assigned to a different area or task. The men are “Handy Hals” with the task of being go-fers, heavy lifters, and brute labor.
Last year we were at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, working on pieces (planters, fence sections, painting doors, etc) for the twelve homes in Sylmar which were being finished then.
This year we were on the actual construction site for the latest project, 87 homes in Santa Clarita. That’s a lot of homes!
The most special part of the work being done by the Santa Clarita – San Fernando Valley chapter of Habitat is that all of the homes are being built and sold to military veterans in need. That’s a great cause to support!
On the ridge overlooking the main street leading to the site, there will be a wall and memorial honoring our country’s fallen soldiers. I spent a good chunk of my day helping to plant eighteen or so trees on either side of the monument.
One site was laying cinder block for a retaining wall between different levels of the site. As you can see, each site has professional contractors there to give instructions, guidance, and keep everything safe — but the women volunteers are doing the work.
And here’s what kicked my butt this year. I’m sure every little kid has looked at jackhammers and thought that they would be really cool to play with. (I’m talking both male and female kids – the women we were working with were all lining up to take their turn to at least say that they did it.) But “playing” with a jackhammer is a lot different than working with one is. Those things are freakin’ heavy (approx 100 lbs) and it’s backbreaking, exhausting work. (Don’t let the smile fool you!)
If there’s a Habitat For Humanity group in your area, get in touch with them and see when they’ve got a build that you can help with. It can be hard work, but it’s well worth it.
Again, as it happened last year, I’m going to see if I can stay awake thorough the Kings’ hockey game tonight. (Or if they can get their act together after a pretty lousy first period.) GO KINGS!