ROSWELL, Ga. — Habitat for Humanity North Central Georgia is on its way to complete its first Women Build project in its 26-year history.
Habitat for Humanity North Central Georgia — which serves Cherokee, Dawson, Forsyth and North Fulton counties — has held Women Build days before, but this is the first project that will be headed and completed by women from start to finish.
“This [is] about more than just fundraising and construction but also providing an opportunity for women in the community to get together, expand their personal and professional networks, and grow as individuals,” said Women Build 2020 Chair Laura Lilly. “It’s a great opportunity for us to grow in a number of ways.”
Habitat for Humanity North Central Georgia has its roots in Habitat for Humanity North Fulton, which first met in the Roswell United Methodist Church in 1993. It later merged with nearby affiliated organizations and, since its inception, has built over 300 homes and repaired 50 homes to help more than 1,300 individuals have safe and affordable housing.
The organizers need to raise $90,000 total for the project and have already raised about 60 percent of that goal, Lilly said. Fundraising is expected to finish by the end of the year.
The women who have volunteered for the Women Build 2020 project come from diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. Lilly said participants include high school seniors to senior citizens and Habitat for Humanity veterans to first-time builders.
One woman, according to Lilly, said that the builds have given her confidence, to know that she can fix things around the house herself when needed.
“We all have opportunities to learn new skills and step outside comfort zones [in this project],” Lilly said.
Lilly herself became involved with Habitat for Humanity through her neighbor, who is on the Habitat for Humanity North Central Georgia board and posted about the women’s build project online.
Lilly said she initially thought the project was a one-day endeavor, but once she learned more about it at an informational session, she became hooked.
“I loved the idea of it,” Lilly said. “The idea of women helping other women really resonated with me.”
Lilly, who has previously been involved in women-focused projects through her college and sorority, was chosen this summer to chair the project.
“In general, a lot of really important and powerful things can happen when women support other women — I’ve seen it time and time again,” Lilly said. “I think it is the female-focus of this project that is attracting and driving many of us to want to get involved in something maybe they otherwise wouldn’t get involved in. A lot of the people who are involved in this project really like the idea of helping a woman who is looking for a hand up and not looking for a handout.”
Project construction is tentatively set to begin February 2020. If all goes well, Lilly said the build may be complete in April or May.
Habitat for Humanity North Central Georgia meets once a month to discuss the project’s progress and to prepare for the builds. During the monthly meetings, the organization hosts a keynote speaker to talk about a woman-related topic. Past speakers include women’s fitness, hormones and nutrition, and financial health.
The woman who will become the homeowner will be announced at the Nov. 21 monthly chapter meeting.
Each woman who wants to participate in this project build is required to raise at least $250. Corporate sponsors include Amazon and Travelers Insurance.
For more information about the project, to donate or to get involved, visit habitat-ncg.org/volunteer/women-build.