Harper College recently served as the official kickoff team for the 2022 Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley Women Build effort, joining a community of women volunteering to help dynamic, women-led families build strength, stability and independence through housing.
Hammers in hand, the group of Harper women spent a day on a job site in Carpentersville where they installed siding under the guidance of construction pros and experienced volunteers.
“It was a truly wonderful opportunity to serve others by giving back,” said Dr. Joanne Ivory, dean of Career and Technical Programs and a board member for the housing organization. “While we had a lot of fun throughout the day, it was also extremely rewarding to know that we were making a difference – actually helping to build a house for a deserving family!”
The day of service was a collaboration between Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley and Harper’s Core Values strategic plan goal team, which has been developing a pilot initiative that aims to encourage employees to participate in community service projects as a way to build internal community and give back.
"Each of these women gladly volunteered to participate and throughout the day talked about how impactful the experience was and how important it was to them to be able to participate, helping someone realize their dream of becoming a homeowner," Ivory said. "At the end of the day, we were all so very proud of the work we had done because we actually made a difference."
Women Build recognizes that achieving housing stability is more difficult for women to realize than men in similar situations due a variety of reasons including income disparity, which results in men being able to access higher credit, better loans and better-quality homes and neighborhoods; unequal caregiving responsibilities that limit a women’s ability to dedicate the necessary time to obtaining and maintaining consistent employment and housing; and single women being denied mortgages at higher rates than men, according to Habitat for Humanity.