Women building from the ground up

Posted on Oct 28 2019 in Boone REMC
Group building a house for Boone County Habitat for Humanity
Witham Health Services was just one of many groups participating in the Women’s Build.
Thirty-eight teams in total helped raise the $95,000 for the Women’s Build. 

This year, Habitat for Humanity of Boone County (HHBC) can truly say that women built an entire house from the foundation up. They can also say that there were more women volunteers than ever before on the 2019 Women Build, a home built by women volunteers, located at 409 N. East St. in Lebanon. 

The house, valued at $95,000, was started on Sept. 3 and finished on Nov. 6. It will be passed on to the homeowner, whose mission has been to thank every single person who volunteered to build her home. She will be finished volunteering her 200 hours for HHBC before she moves into the house, an accomplishment that took two and a half years. 

“I think the partnership of working 200 hours is really empowering for them,” HHBC Volunteer Coordinator and Development Director Amy Hartwig said. “Many haven’t built anything before; some have probably never held a hammer.”

Along with the 200 hours of volunteer partnership, volunteers must have a job because they must pay HHBC back for the home at $500 a month, which includes insurance. They must also show a need and go through the selection process. 

“This really isn’t a story about people who have everything together helping someone who doesn’t,” McKeel Bowden, construction lead for HHBC, said. “We may just have a different area we need to work on. God meets all of us in our place of need and we tell His story by serving in gratitude. The message is one of restoration and one of hope. While we are working here, God is working on us.”

A pediatrician with Witham Health, Jane Buroker, has worked on four different HHBC homes, and this is her third year working on the Women’s Build with the Witham Health team. 

“I like the Women’s Build because it shows empowerment for women to build this with guidance for a deserving family,” Buroker said. “I don’t always get to work with a lot of the women on this team, but today we can work on something together for the community.”

Buroker took the day off of work with nine other women, mostly comprised of doctors and nurses. 

Two other homes were built this year. One was dubbed “The House That Beer Built.” It was built from funds raised by local breweries. Another, which was named the “Faith Build,” was built with funding from churches. It is finishing up in Thorntown and will house a family of seven. 

Hartwig noted that there are several ways to volunteer, including being a board member, a member on the family selection committee, a budget counselor, or working at ReStore, its storefront for repurposed items, on 106th and Michigan Road.