PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Dozens of women in Charlotte County hammered and sawed all day as part of National Women Build Week. They showed what a little instruction and a lot of heart can build.
With each nail, sheets of plywood and two-by-fours started becoming homes for two families. "She's working on my house and I'm working on her house," future homeowner Maria Justiniano said.
"How many people can say that? I built my own home... my own two hands!" Toni Layton said, who's also getting a home.
National Women Build Week is all about letting women know they can build their own affordable housing. Lowe's provided Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity a $5,000 store gift card, as well as in-store volunteer training in support of today's build.
"We thought maybe we'd get a dozen or fifteen and we had almost thirty sign up and come out today," Habitat Executive Director Mike Mansfield said.
"This gives women an opportunity to come together, enjoy themselves, have a good time, learn a little about construction and work alongside the partner families," Habitat Director of Development Debbie Doran-Haynes said.
Some of the women had worked with Habitat for Humanity in the past, but for others, it may have been the first time they've ever picked up a hammer. They all enjoyed the experience so much that now every first Tuesday of the month will be designated as "Women Build Day"
"You're exhausted, you're tired, you're hot, but hey, it's a great day," builder Cathy Sloan said,
"It's a great feeling at the end of the day."
It's almost as good a feeling of finally having a home to call your own. "Ecstatic, amazed, thrilled, happy... I'm gonna be a homeowner!" Layton said.
They're hoping to have the homes completed by the end of June so the new homeowners can benefit from the Homebuyer Tax Credit