When one thinks of a bachelorette party, hammering nails, mixing cement and spending the day getting dirty don’t usually come to mind. For bride-to-be Lisa VanDerMeiren’s bachelorette weekend however, that is exactly what she and 20 of her family members and closest friends wound up doing.
On April 18, VanDerMeiren’s family and friends joined her at the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) Women Build site in Franklin Township and spent the day helping to build a house for a hardworking, low-income local family in need, thereby enabling them to be one step closer to their dream of home ownership.
Though a day of physical labor is not a traditional way for a bride-to-be to spend one of her last days of “freedom,” according to VanDerMeiren, “I knew I wanted to avoid a typical bachelorette party…what better way to bring my female friends and family together than a function especially for women. I had friends come from as far away as North Carolina and we all had a great time — everyone is looking forward to having a post-wedding build!”
Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, which is underwritten by Lowe’s, strives to bring women from all walks of life together to learn construction skills, then to use those skills to build simple, decent, affordable houses for local families in need. RVHFH is constructing its very first Women Build home in Franklin Township; the home is not only being built by women but the project is being funded by the women volunteers as well.
In addition to all of the sweat equity that was contributed, the VanDerMeiren build day also raised $5,317 for the Women Build house bringing RVHFH to $76,097 of its $100,000 project goal.
The RVHFH Women Build house is expected to be completed by the end of the summer so more volunteers and more funding are needed to complete the home.
RVHFH is committed to improving the lives of hardworking, low-income families in Somerset and Hunterdon counties by helping them to build and purchase their own modest, affordable homes. Habitat acts as a builder, a mortgage lender and a social service agency, helping families to prepare for and achieve success as homeowners.
Habitat is a partnership program; volunteers build houses side by side with low-income families selected as homeowner-partners. RVHFH sells the finished home at cost and provides a no-interest mortgage to the new homeowner. Support for Habitat comes from a broad base of community groups, businesses, churches and individual volunteers.
For more information, call 908/704-0016 or visit www.rvhabitat.org.