Women Build, presented by Excel Homes, is one of our favourite times of the year.
It's amazing to see what happens when groups of inspired women come together and make a difference in their community.
Over the years, we've had lots of great questions come in from participants - from what to bring, to what's for lunch, to what kind of construction work is available - so we've rounded up the most frequently asked questions to help you know exactly what to expect!
1. Can I reserve shifts in advance so I can build with my team?
The only way to reserve your shift is by first raising your $350 minimum. At that point, you’ll be automatically emailed a link to register for the day of your choosing (as long as there are still shifts available). You can see how many spaces are available on each day here.
The faster everyone on your team can reach their fundraising minimums, the better chance you have to build on the same day.
2. What if everyone on my team isn’t able to reserve a shift on the same day?
If you fundraise quickly, you shouldn’t have a problem registering for the same day. We’ll do what we can to move shifts around so that a single person isn’t left out, but we can’t guarantee anything! The number of shifts available each day is set to ensure every participant has safe and meaningful work to do.
3. I haven’t personally raised my $350 minimum, but my team has collectively raised more than the sum of the minimums for all of us – can I still build with them?
No – each person is required to raise the $350 fundraising minimum.
4. Why can I donate to the team if it doesn’t help the individual fundraisers?
Some people or businesses might wish to donate to your team to show their support, without designating it to a particular individual. That’s totally fine, but remember that these donations to the team don’t count toward any one person’s total, so you still each need to raise your $350 apart from any team donations.
If the donation should have been towards an individual but was made to the team by mistake, contact us and we can move it to the individual’s page for you.
5. If I’m fundraising as part of a team, does the money I raise personally get counted in the team total?
Yes, it does!
6. My fundraising page isn’t working – help!
Please contact us and we’ll fix it!
7. What is the money I raise used for?
8. What is the plan for inclement weather?
There is a mix of indoor and outdoor work, so we’re building rain, snow or shine!
9. What do I need to bring to my shift?
We provide all the tools and safety equipment you’ll need, including hard hat, safety glasses, steel-toe boots and work gloves.
We also provide coffee, snacks and catered lunch, but feel free to bring anything else you’d like to eat or drink, or any personal tools or safety gear you’d prefer to use (boots, tool belt, framing hammer, etc.). We’ll have water, but feel free to bring your own bottle. Other than that, we got you!
10. What should I wear?
Dress appropriately for any weather and the possibility that the mornings will be much colder than the afternoons. Work clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty are essential, and long hair needs to be tied back.
11. Do I get to choose what type of work I’ll be doing?
Yes, to a point. There will be a sign-up sheet at registration so as you arrive in the morning, you can select which crew you’d like to work on (first come first serve). The houses will be at framing stage, so we’ll do our best to provide a variety of tasks, but expect a lot of framing!
12. Can I build without any construction experience?
Yes! There is absolutely no experience necessary. After the morning safety briefing from our awesome site supervisors, you will be working in small groups with our crew leaders (experienced volunteers) who will work side-by-side with you all day.
You’ll be on the tools from the get-go, but you’ll never be asked to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
13. I have an injury that limits my ability. Should I still come?
If you think that you’ll be limited in the level of physical work you can do, feel free to contact us and ask. That said, it’s likely that we can find some modified duties to utilize your other abilities.
Just let your Crew Leader know when you are put into groups, and they will not ask you to do anything you’re not comfortable or able to do.
14. Do you give away the homes we're building for free?
No! Habitat makes home ownership affordable by offering a mortgage with no down-payment, no interest and monthly payments that are never more than 25% of a family's household income. This gives working families the ability to purchase their own homes and become independent home owners.
15. What’s for lunch?
We have delicious options from some generous community supporters. Each day there will be meat, vegetarian and gluten-free options, so please email us if you have any further restrictions or allergies.