A little more than a year ago, Rosalinda Cortez and her children stood in a workshop on North Hampton Road, celebrating the start of the construction on her home – once the downpour of rain that day stopped, that is.
This week, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity kicked off the second Women Build Dallas fundraising initiative. It’s that initiative that built Cortez’s home.
Women Build Dallas is a volunteer-led initiative that recognizes women as true change-makers in the community, engaging them to provide affordable housing to hard working Dallas families.
Dallas Habitat serves thousands of clients each year, with neighborhoods comprised largely of women and children. Among Habitat families, 69% have a woman head of household and 41% of those women are single mothers. These women face unique challenges on their journeys to financial independence and Women Build Dallas empowers women to support one another to overcome these obstacles.
Cortez was on hand at Friday’s virtual kick-off, cheering on the new effort that will build a new home for another family. Women Build Dallas 2021 Chair and Vice Chair, Kelly Ann Doherty and Martina McIsaac spoke about the importance of this initiative and women empowering women.
“Women Build Dallas 2021 will unite a diverse group of Dallas women with one clear goal: to provide other women and families with access to a safe, affordable home,” said Kelly Ann Doherty, 2021 Women Build Dallas Chair and Chief People and Communications Officer for Mr. Cooper Group. “The pandemic highlighted the critical need for affordable housing as many families have found themselves struggling to pay rent due to the economic downturn of COVID-19. Together as a committee, we plan to ease some of this burden and support local families.”
In its first year, Women Build Dallas raised more than $250,000 from more than 200 donors. For 2021, the initiative has set an ambitious goal of raising $500,000 to help build an affordable new home, support neighborhood empowerment, and extend financial education programs.
“Women Build Dallas is about much more than building a house, it’s about uplifting our own communities so that more women can achieve their goals and aspirations,” says Martina McIsaac, 2021 Women Build Dallas Vice Chair and Region Head and CEO of Hilti North America. “This initiative will both figuratively and literally build a stronger Dallas after the challenging year we have faced and we’re ready to get to work.”
Over the next few months. Women Build Dallas will host a series of virtual panels and events highlighting the ways women are forces of change, coming together to build stronger, safer, more equitable neighborhoods. Additionally, the community can join the Women Build Dallas effort by asking their employers to become corporate sponsors, creating or joining a personal fundraising team, or making a one-time donation.
For additional information on Women Build Dallas activities and ways to get involved, visit dallasareahabitat.org/women-build-dallas/.