By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – They were building more than just a house over at the corner of Lyon and Ellsworth Streets in Warsaw on Tuesday.
Groups of women began working on Habitat for Humanity’s latest home in Warsaw on Tuesday, June 21, and others will join in later this week for what’s become known as a Women’s Build.
Habitat For Humanity Kosciusko County broke ground on the three-bedroom, one-bath house in late March. Construction is more than halfway done, and officials hope to finish by mid-August.
Nearly 60 women signed up to participate in this week’s work.
On Tuesday, women from Lake City Bank, Sym Financial and DePuy worked on the site. More crews will assemble on Thursday and Saturday.
Under sunny skies Tuesday, the women constructed a storage shed, and added siding to the back of the home.
And with it maybe came a new sense of camaraderie, empowerment and friendship.
Ben Logan, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Kosciusko County, said it was not that difficult to fill the volunteer slots. He sees it as “a time for women to come on-site and support other women going through the program.”
“This is the perfect team building,” Logan said.
Rhonda Peugh, of SYM Financial, worked the Tuesday afternoon shift. She said she has very little construction experience, but said she likes the program.
“It’s a really positive environment. I think it’s great. It feels like you get to learn something new and it gets us out of the office. And we got to meet the homeowner, which is also very cool,” Peugh said.
Another SYM Financial employee, Elle Turley, was also volunteering Tuesday. Both she and Peugh worked previously on a local Habitat house.
She said her employer encourages community service by setting aside 16 hours a year for such efforts.
“SYM is a huge team. We love to work together,” Turley said.
She said she likes the sense of purpose.
“I love getting to know the owner of the home. I’ll drive by this house on my way home from work and I’ll think about her and pray about her,” she said.
Lori Donahoe organized the week-long effort. She worked on a women’s build ten years ago in Warsaw. She’s also been a board member and worked to help open the Habitat store in Warsaw.
This year’s women’s build came together in two months, she said.
“Next year, we will start planning probably in August and really go big. Much bigger,” Donahoe said.
“People from the morning crew wanted to come back. They were like, ‘Let us know when you need us.’ ”