Local 'Wednesday Women' building local homes, need volunteers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local 'Wednesday Women' building local homes, need volunteers

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Ladies, if you're looking for a new volunteer project, one local organization has just the opportunity for you.

Habitat for Humanity of Smith County's "Wednesday Women" initiative started accidentally, when a group of local women started volunteering on home sites regularly on Wednesdays, and they want more women to join them.

Their crew leader was emotional as she talked about how her first build changed her life.

"I watched that homeowner put that first nail into her house, I was changed. I knew that I was going to have to do that," said Margo Ballew.

Deanna Harrison, the Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, says that Habitat for Humanity's build sites change a lot of volunteers like Ballew.

"The impact it makes on somebody's life to actually get out there and swing a hammer or do all sorts of construction work, paint a house or do caulking, and know that your volunteer hours, the labor you're putting into this is actually building a home for someone," Harrison said. "You're making an eternal difference in somebody's life, because home ownership transforms lives."

Ballew now serves as a crew leader on habitat home sites -- and she wants other women to join her "Wednesday Women" to build more homes in Smith County.

"I volunteer every Wednesday. I have a crew of ladies that come out. Right now we have 4 ladies and we would sure like it to be a lot more than that," she said.

Both Ballew and Harrison say you don't have to know how to build a house to volunteer -- women learn skills on the construction site that they take with them for the rest of their lives.

"For me, I used to be my husband's Vanna White, hand him this, hand him that. And now I'm doing it," Ballew said. "I'm the caulker of the house. I'm the painter of the house. You learn skills that you can use for the rest of your life and you don't need to depend on somebody else to do it for you."

"One of the great things about volunteering is you can drive past that house and you can say, that's what I've done, that's what I am doing. I have made a very significant impact in my community. And there's the proof of it," Harrison said.

Habitat for Humanity of Smith County plans to build 5 homes for families this year.

The next habitat home is having its walls raised on Saturday, March 24th. If you'd like to volunteer, you can call the Habitat for Humanity of Smith County office at 903.595.6630 and ask for Diane.

The next home will take about 12 weeks to build.

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