Home is where the start is


A great bite-sized article came out today from Habitat World about the benefits of safe, decent, affordable housing and the impact it can have on education, stability, and opportunity.

We know that first hand here in Rochester, NY where 98% of Habitat homeowner children graduate from High School or go on to get their GED.

10306636_10152129710162934_8170404988837772839_nCalico Hammers Women Build Team on the 2014 Women Build home

We know that home ownership leads to a path out of poverty for the next generation. We know that healthy, lead-free homes give young children an opportunity grow-up without the side-effects and learning troubles that lead-poisoning brings.


One of Insero & Company’s Women Build Teams on the 2014 Women Build home

We know that working hard for something seemingly un-attainable, and succeeding in your goals leads to self-esteem that can help inspire other positive changes. Being able to put 450 hours of sweat-equity into your house as down-payment instead of money allows Habitat families and opportunity at the American dream. A zero-interest monthly mortgage payment allow them a fair “hand-up not a hand-out” and a way to contribute back to the affordable housing mission.


Hammer N’ Heels Women Build Team on the 2014 Women Build home

But YOU are the reason we are able to make these opportunities for low-income families possible. Without your gifts of time, talent, and treasure – these would just be ideas. You build, you give, you advocate. You are part of our story, part of our success.

And we just wanted to take a moment to say thank you.


One House at a Time, One Family at a Time

This week’s Women Build blog post was written by one of our summer college volunteers, Crystal Colon an English & Business student from The University of Rochester. If you haven’t already, you’ll have a chance to meet Crystal this summer, and she’ll be blogging for the Women Build blog on occasion. Welcome to the team Crystal! – Deanna


On a beautiful Saturday morning – a day filled with golden shovels, rainbow confetti, and about 50 women volunteers wearing red T-shirts – the construction process of a new life for a disadvantaged family had begun. That is the main mission of Flower City Habitat for Humanity during National Women Build Week, to dig up a hole on your neighborhood street! The best part of it is a brand new house will fill up that hole; a house that will soon be the home of a Rochester family working to make the American dream possible. National Women Build Week is about empowering women to go out on a Habitat for Humanity construction site and volunteer a day even if they don’t have construction skills. It’s a week about making your community a better place, or as Flower City Habitat Women Build would cheer, “Give a Woman A Power Tool and She Can Change the World!”


This groundbreaking event, which took place on May 10th, occurs annually and one of its most prominent goals is to empower women to go out and build. There are 30 teams of women volunteers of some which include Hammer Heads, Delta Sigma Theta, Girls United, Hammers & Heels, and much more. These women groups volunteer Tuesday through Saturday in parties of six and work long hard hours to accomplish their goal. It takes about three months (77 days) total to completely finish up the making of an entire home. Rochester is not the only place where women are skilled with shovels and dreams come true. Over 52,000 women across 50 states have volunteered for National Women Build Week since 2008. This year, over 13,000 people volunteered in National Women Build Week 2014.

Lowe’s serves as a national sponsor for National Women Build Week and alone donated $5,000 for the Flower City Habitat 2014 Women Build project. Henrietta Lowe’s employees attended the day of the event to support and contribute to the success of this very important and symbolic day. Lowe’s, overall, has given $63 million to Habitat’s across the United States since 2003.


The Bailey family, soon to be home-owner of the house, is extremely enthusiastic about what she and Habitat is doing for her family. At the event, Bailey along with her four joyful children grabbed shovels and poured strips of confetti onto the pit of the hole, a symbolic act as prayers and best wishes were raised to the heavens. This year’s National Women Build Week was a complete success and will continue to serve the Rochester community by helping families and encouraging women to be the backbone of this annual event.

Breaking Ground


This Saturday (May 10th) at 11am we’ll all be gathered at the 2014 Women Build house on 796 Jay Street to share the progress, dig a little dirt, and toss a few blessings and hopes into the foundation of the project. It’s our 10th Women Build house, so it promises to be a historic occasion.


It also happens to be National Women Build Week around the US, so we’ll be celebrating and thanking our friends at Lowe’s for their $5,000 gift to 2014 Women Build, and the $63 million they have given to Habitat for Humanity since 2003. Our friends from Henrietta, NY Lowe’s will be on hand to celebrate with us, and we simply can’t wait to bring them into the fun and passion you all bring to Women Build.

5-8-14CBe sure to bring your camera, there will be tons of opportunity for photos with the foundation, golden shovels, and homeowner family. If you share your photos (which we encourage you to do!) be sure to tag them with #WomenBuild so that Habitat affiliates around the US can see the great work that you all are making possible in Rochester.

For our Women Build clinic with Henrietta Lowe’s. They’ll be teaching our Women Build volunteers how to tile as another gift to our Women Build program. RSVPs are necessary so we have the right amount of material, so be sure to email us if you’re planning to attend.

Sunday, May 18th*
8am – 10am
Henrietta Lowe’s
2350 Marketplace Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Email tbianchi@rochesterhabitat.org to RSVP yes.

*We know that for many of you, Sunday mornings are time for faith so we’re working on adding another date for this event. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know if it all works out.