ANDERSON — They came armed with hammers, drills, saws and other tools.
They left with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
A group of six women joined a team of Habitat for Humanity volunteers Saturday morning to hang vinyl siding, put up drywall and paint a house under construction on East Sixth Street near Anderson University.
The women are part of Habitat’s Women Build program, an initiative to mobilize women to volunteer with the organization and build homes to provide independence for families in need.
“I’ve never hung siding before,” said Amy Jacobs, a part-time Habitat employee who coordinated the work day.
“I’m getting ready to go back and help shingle a shed, which I’ve never done anything like that before. So it’s just a great experience, and it’s really fulfilling to know we’re helping someone.”
Expertise in construction is by no means a requirement for volunteers, according to the Habitat veterans on hand Saturday. The Women Build team members, the veterans said, were quick studies.
“It’s great to have them alongside us because they want to work,” volunteer Carl Caldwell said. “They like to work, and they’re very cooperative. They’re willing learners, and they’re just fun to have around.”
Julia Whitson joined the local Women Build committee in January and recruited family members to be part of her team. They arrived at the home Saturday not knowing exactly what work they would be doing, but she said learning a new skill was part of the fun.
“I brought my family with me today as part of my team, and we’re doing some painting in addition to siding,” Whitson said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Construction of the three-bedroom house began in March, and Habitat expects the 1,400-square-foot structure to be move-in ready by Christmas. As temperatures have warmed up, progress on the project has accelerated, Jacobs said.
“I haven’t been to the site in a couple of weeks, and when I walked up I thought, ‘Wow, this looks so different than it looked two weeks ago,’” she said. “It’s amazing to think that in a few short months, this is going to be somebody’s home, and a home that they can be proud of, a home that people built with love.”