Women building

By Lillian Bowe
Staff writer
lbowe@pntonline.com

The day before Mother’s Day, Anna Walker invited her mother-in-law, Becky Walker, to help build a house.

Anna, originally from Brazil, wanted to spend more time with the mother of her husband.

Lillian Bowe: Staff photo Laura Morrison, left, is cutting headers for the Fifth Annual Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build on Saturday. Gary Rhode is supervising the build, teaching the women safety tips and other techniques for building.

Lillian Bowe: Staff photo
Laura Morrison, left, is cutting headers for the Fifth Annual Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build on Saturday. Gary Rhode is supervising the build, teaching the women safety tips and other techniques for building.

“She is so present in my life and she is my friend. We share everything and I wanted to work together with her,” Anna said.

The Walkers were building framing elements for a three-bedroom house for Roosevelt and Curry County Habitat for Humanity’s fifth annual women’s build Saturday at Kaywood Street.

Becky, a retired school teacher, was more than willing to help out her daughter-in-law at the build, which encourages only women building the house.

“Anna, who works at Habitat, asked me if I would like to help build a house and I was excited. I have always wanted to help, but never really had the time,” Becky said.

Marge Rhode, office manager at Habitat, said National Women Build Week is to encourage more women to learn how to build and to empower women.

“We really wanted the build today to have a host family picked, but we are currently still searching for a family either in Portales or Clovis,” Rhode said.

Rhode and her husband, Gary, both came out on Saturday to help with the build. Gary taught the women how to use the equipment and supervised, but the six women did all of the work.

Natalie Benette, Laura Morrison and Ashlyn Ruppel, who all work at Cannon Air Force Base, came ready to build. Benette said they are part of a new women’s mentor group at the base that started in March.

“This is a great way to work together and give back, while also empowering women,” Morrison said.

Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families with an inadequate housing situation and offers the home with a no-interest mortgage to make it more affordable. The homes are all built by volunteers from around the community, and home recipients log volunteer hours themselves as a condition of participation.

“Next year,” Rhode said, “we want to have a house built by mostly women. We want women professionals doing the plumbing and other things as well.”