“I’m a strong believer in empowering people by giving them tools and teaching them how to use them.”
Why is Women Build important to you?
Women Build appeals to me because gives females the excuse to use power tools and wear aprons that aren’t meant for the kitchen.
On a more serious note, I just love the idea of amazing human beings getting together and doing something that has such an impact on someone’s life.
Women Build is all about women coming together to support one another and build hope for families. What’s your experience been at the build site on Women Build day?
Last year’s experience at Women Build Day left quite an impression on me. It was very well organized and left me with a feeling of such an accomplishment. It was so rewarding–nothing like other volunteering opportunities and work I have done before. The moment of putting a wall of a house in place made me and my teammates very emotional. It is something that we still talk about a year later.
Are there any women in your life whose strength and generosity you feel inspired by?
I am inspired on a daily basis by my fellow moms who are also my closest and dearest friends. Their love, support, and generosity is incredible. They all volunteer in different ways besides taking care of their families and having careers on their own.
I got hooked on volunteering by my dear friend, Samantha Goodwin. One year she invited my daughter and I to help with a New Year’s Day dinner for the homeless at Santa Rita Park. Immediately I felt that I needed to do more. More for the people in need, more for my own purpose, more to inspire my own child and teach the importance of giving back and not to take for granted what we have.
Women Build is a peer-to-peer fundraiser. What advice do you have for those who are new to fundraising for Women Build?
Fundraising doesn’t come easy for me. Asking people for money is not something I am comfortable with but I also know my tribe.
For the second year I combined fundraising with my birthday get together and asked friends to share their generosity with Habitat instead of birthday gifts.They are happy to do so and say I make it easy for them. There is no pressure to try finding the perfect gift.
I have to trust that people especially friends will show up for me and will have my back, and so far they have. They have been very giving this year.
I make an effort to show them my appreciation of their support by thanking them on FB and sending a thank you via text very time I get a donation. This way others can see it and maybe they get inspired as well. I also believe in a healthy competition between friends so my posts can motivate my more competitive friends. There is also a risk in overdoing it when it comes to FB. It can create fatigue from seeing similar posts over and over again. I do my best to keep a balance and hope for the best.
All of the Women Build fundraising will go towards building a new home for a family. Why does that cause speak to you so strongly?
I’m a strong believer in empowering people by giving them tools and teaching them how to use them. Educating them and supporting their efforts. By helping them to get to this point of owning their first house is huge. It changes a whole family, it gives them so many opportunities they didn’t have before.
It takes away the worry of where they’re going to sleep tomorrow, where they’re going to live the next day. I never had to experience that and I can only imagine the stress that this brings onto a family or a person. I love the idea of a long-term solution that Habitat provides–and I get to be a small part of it.
What else would you like to share?
I’m grateful for this opportunity of helping others. This brings so much more purpose to my life, and to my family’s life. It exposes me to kindness, willingness, selflessness and incredible generosity of other people.
Volunteering is my favorite thing about the United States of America. It shows the true colors of the people and that is why I love it so much.