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Newberry Habitat Women Build

Newberry Habitat Women Build is Habitat for Humanity’s program for women who want to learn construction skills and build homes and communities. This program brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide. No experience is necessary!
At 9:30 AM on a sunny morning in Newberry Country (La Pine, Or), a group of 20 women volunteers joined Construction Manager, Steve Krebs, Dwane Krumme, Executive Director, George Spielman Habitat Board VP, Dave and Marlene Guasco and Women Build Coordinator, Gloria Byrd at the newest La Pine construction site in Terry Park off Mitts Way. This is the beginning of the next Habitat house build scheduled to go to ground by July 1st this summer.

Kelly Cooper-Butler, the next recipient of the house they are starting, was first to put on her red T-shirt and the rest of the ladies followed suit, adding a tool belt, handkerchief, carpenter’s pencil sharpened with an exacto knife by the site manager, Krebs and then topping the gifts off with a special pink water bottle.

The day’s project was to build a fence. The ladies with power tool experience were assigned to cutting 2X4s for the fence rails. Everyone would help to unload the materials and after a brief prayer, Krebs held the short meeting on safety and the day’s project was underway. There were so many ladies working that the many hands made short work out of the morning.

Women have a chance to learn about putting in a fence during this project. Levels and plumb lines were used in placing the boards and after the first section went uphill, there was even a lesson about how to bring the next sections back into level! The ladies ‘measured twice and cut once’ and section after section of the back fence went right in!

Were the ladies hungry at the end of the morning? Not to worry. Not only do they get their builders pack of gifts to use, but, Gloria Byrd arranged to have coffee and do-nuts before anything started and then Dwane Krumme and Gloria put in an order for lunch mid-morning and by noon, when the first phase of the work was completed, there were trays of sandwiches, cookies and chips gobbled up served with gallons of ice tea, sodas and iced coffee for the hearty drinkers in the group.

Most of the ladies have been involved in the build before and were old hats at the idea of working with others to complete an entire project. Women could come for the morning or stay for two sessions and help complete the fence by mid-afternoon. Returning to the Women Build Project was local US Banker, Melissa Huck, who brought along her first-timer friend, Deanna Underwood. Kelly Cooper-Butler, recipient also stayed until the project was finished.

You can go on the Newberry website for additional pictures of the day and to get a list of all of the volunteers. You might even qualify for a house yourself! Interested people can apply for Habitat Homes by filling out a short, two page application available on the website or at the ReStore.

Are you someone who likes to give back to your community? The Newberry Habitat for Humanity affiliate is always looking for volunteers for their builds and to work in the ReStore (retail store) in La Pine. Call 541.593.5005 for information during business hours.