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Habitat for Humanity seeks women volunteers

Habitat Buffalo wants to encourage more women to play a role in construction.

The local nonprofit homebuilding organization wants to engage women to learn construction fields and participate in building homes.

Habitat Buffalo has previously built homes with all-female teams. But this spring, it will participate for the first time in the national Habitat for Humanity's National Women Build Week program, with plans to rehab two houses for women homeowners, who will also take part in the work.

The national program was launched in 2008 with help from home improvement retailer Lowe's. More than 300 Habitat chapters nationwide now participate. Nearly 100,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered in previous years.

This year's program takes place from May 7-13. Locally, volunteers will work in two groups of 10 for one day at a time, on both homes that Habitat built and is fixing up. No prior construction skills or experience is necessary.

"We're extremely excited to get involved with Women Build this year," said Habitat Buffalo Executive Director Teresa Bianchi. "To make our first year successful, we need the women of Buffalo to strap on a tool belt and join us in full force. I want to show the world that when you give a Western New York woman a hammer and a dream, there's nothing that can stop her."

Bianchi brought the successful 10-year-old program here from Rochester, where she used to be that chapter's director of marketing and development. She's teaming up with several women business leaders from the construction industry, as well as from other corporations.

"It's a call to action to get women and business leaders to step up," said Jamie Frumusa, an account manager at Tipping Point Communications, whose CEO is helping to lead the local effort. "It's their inaugural year in Buffalo, and they really want to hit the ground running."

To sign up, email Habitat at

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