ATLANTA, May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Women volunteers will raise their hammers at Habitat for Humanity construction sites across the country in recognition of National Women Build Week, May 5-13. This event is a nationwide initiative of Habitat's Women Build program developed in partnership with Lowe's. Now in its fifth year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to creating simple, decent and affordable housing in their local communities. Nearly 31,000 women volunteers from all 50 states have participated in the previous four events.
E! News correspondent and long-time Habitat supporter Kristina Guerrero, whose mother built her home in partnership with an affordable-housing organization in 1998, is building with her mother, sister and 25 women volunteers, in Los Angeles. E! News is the national media partner for the event and will provide event coverage with Habitat for Humanity throughout the week.
"My mom, brothers, sisters and I are living proof of the difference affordable housing can make in a family's life," said Guerrero. "I encourage all women to find ways to join Habitat this week. Whether it's building alongside other volunteers or helping to recruit or train new volunteers, every effort helps families realize their dreams of homeownership. Through working together, we can make a difference in the lives of low-income families in need of affordable housing."
This year's theme, "The Build Generation," reflects the event's goal to recruit and train women volunteers, as well as welcome the next generation of Habitat Women Builders – young women, ages 18-24 – to help support Habitat's mission to create affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity International's Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable housing.
Lowe's contributed more than $1.3 million to National Women Build Week, providing $5,000 Lowe's gift cards to 275 Habitat affiliates. National Women Build Week is one of the major initiatives supported through Lowe's five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. As the underwriter of the Women Build program since 2004, Lowe's conducts "How-To" clinics at stores to teach women construction skills, enabling them to support Habitat projects across the country.
"Lowe's has been the proud sponsor of Habitat's Women Build program since 2004," said Marshall Croom, chairman of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. "Women Build encourages women from all ages and walks of life to pick up their hammers and build affordable homes alongside local families. Lowe's salutes all the women volunteers who take time to build this week, and values the difference Lowe's and Habitat are making in the lives of families across the nation."
The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 12 million children—one out of every six—are living in poverty in the United States, where more than 70 percent of Habitat's U.S. houses are built in partnership with women heads-of-household. Since the inception of Habitat's Women Build program in 1998 more than 1,900 Habitat for Humanity Women Build houses have been constructed in partnership with low-income families.
"National Women Build Week has been a great training ground for women all around the country who have become wonderful leaders in their local affiliates, and we are thrilled to be encouraging a new generation of supporters at this year's event," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We are grateful to Lowe's and to all the women who build the bonds of family and community by supporting Habitat's affordable housing efforts during National Women Build Week and throughout the year."
For more information on Habitat for Humanity's Women Build program, and to learn about Women Build projects in communities across the U.S., visit Habitat.org/wb or the National Women Build Week tab on http://www.facebook.com/habitat.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at http://www.facebook.com/habitat or at http://www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.
Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The company's signature education grant program, Lowe's Toolbox for Education®, has donated nearly $5 million in grants to K-12 public schools every year since its inception in 2006. Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. In 2011, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $32 million to support communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit: Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility.
SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International