Shared Values At Women Build 2019


There is a special connection made when you build a home alongside the future homeowner. Most volunteers who experience it discover that they have more in common with Habitat partner families than they ever would have imagined. At Women Build 2019, it was a recurring theme as hundreds of local women worked with Michelle White on her home.

“I’m really impressed by the different groups of women who came out,” Michelle said. “I’m meeting women with similar stories. We all have the same struggle. It doesn’t matter where we come from.”

Michelle is self-employed as a massage therapist and nail technician. She promised her children that one day they would live in a home she owned, and she has worked toward that goal ever since. Her determination to keep that promise inspired many of the Women Build volunteers.

“I purchased a home for my two young sons as a single mother [at the time],” said Team Leader Karyn Kearney. “When I heard Michelle’s story, I knew it would be something we’d be proud to be part of.”

Karyn met Michelle during the build, stopping to have a long conversation with her. “For me personally, seeing the photographs and watching the videos of the children—and the pride that she has in being able to provide something lasting—it just touched my heart,” she said.

Three-year team leader Elizabeth Selasky has worked alongside partner families each year at Women Build.

“It reiterates exactly what we’re out here doing,” said Elizabeth. “You can sense the feeling of accomplishment radiating off these homeowners. Until you experience it, you can’t explain it in words.”

Women Build started in 2017 as a way to raise awareness of the challenges women face in finding affordable housing.

“Girl power all the way,” said Zoe Thibeault- Stone, another team leader. “I’m all about women supporting women. I think that women are the key to making the world a better place.”

If you want to be part of Women Build 2020, email

Women Build 2019 Team Leaders:

  • Michelle Dumont & Ragan Gankandorff
    The Badass Chicks
  • Riley Kennedy
    The Brick Freedias, Kappa & Chi O Alums,
    WoW Factor: Women of Woodward
  • Amy Collins
  • Cathy Gathamn, Ann Teague Landis, Lauren Thibodeaux, Paula Peer
    The Design Build Chicks
  • Zoe Thibeault-Stone, Arianna Baseman, Krista Casale
    Free to Be Power Yoga
  • Farrah Favaloro
  • Sue Crabtree
    Hammer and Heels
  • Caroline Dobson, Taylor Duhon, Julie Prechter
    Jones Walker “She’s a Brick House”
  • Lindsay Hannah
    Krewe du Pontalba
  • Terri Dreyer
    Lipstick & Lumber
  • Karyn Kearney & Rona White
    MC Hammers
  • Beth Winkler & Rachel Smith
    Mighty Magnolias
  • Jill Dupre
    The NOLA Home Makers
  • Mamie Gasperecz & Kristen House
    Sweaty Betties of Gulf Coast Bank
  • Denise Puente & Kelly Theard
    Swingin’ Ladies (Hammers, That Is)
  • Melissa Schutz Lilly
    The Tool Chests
  • Ann Clayton Chamberlain
    Well Builts
  • Elizabeth Selasky
    Women’s Council of Realtors
  • Liz Broekman, Maria Hastak, Diane Powell
    Women With P.O.W.E.R. Tools