May 11, 2021  Eagle Tribune

Concerns about the coronavirus prompted Habitat for Humanity to suspend its traditional Women Build Day in March, but the organization has now set aside a day in each quarter this year for women to team up at Habitat’s local construction sites.

The first Women Build Day was Saturday in celebration of Mother’s Day with volunteers at home construction sites in three communities, including Andover, according to Jacques Du Preez, Essex County Habitat for Humanity’s director of marketing.

“We were delighted at the outpouring of support, with 26 women volunteers joining us in Andover, Salisbury and Wenham this past Saturday,” Du Preez said in a press release.

“I think our supporters were all excited at the prospect of getting out and building again. … If 2020 taught us anything, it is that families are safer in their own homes, and our volunteers understand that we need them to help get families into a safe place of their own.”

Since 1991, Women Build volunteers have come together to build stronger, safer communities. Habitat Women Build Days traditionally coincide with International Women’s Day, which falls each March 8. Besides last weekend, Women Build Days will be held in June, August and October this year.

“Our Women Build events provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities,” Du Preez said.

Women Build opportunities are available at Habitat’s affordable housing sites across Essex County. All women interested in participating in building and constructing a home are invited to take part and no experience is necessary.

Volunteers work under the guidance of construction professionals, and alongside other volunteers and future Habitat homeowners.

“Of the 13 families currently partnering with us to complete their homes, we have 12 mothers, out of which, nine are single parents. Women helping women sends a positive and powerful message,” Du Preez said.

“We still have spots available for Women Build days in June, August and October and you can come with family, friends or alone and make new friends. The atmosphere is collaborative and friendly,” said Alexandra “Howie” Howard, Essex County Habitat’s volunteer coordinator.

Anyone who would like to volunteer should go to to register.