For this group, it’ll be a real hands-on way to help

Group of local women currently fundraising as they prepare to do their part as volunteers for Habitat for Humanity project in Wellesley, literally helping to build their community

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Bev Hill, Darlene Paulitzki, Cindy Leslie, Laurie Hergott, Cathy Miko and Deborah Harte are six of the ten women in a group raising money for Habitat for Humanity ahead of their June 13 build day. The group will be selling ice cream at My Sister’s Kitchen in St. Clements this weekend, starting at noon on May 13. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]
A group of ten women will be donning hard hats and wielding hammers next month when they lend a hand on the first Habitat for Humanity build in Wellesley.

Deborah Harte reached out to 20 of her friends to join her at the Queens Bush Road project, and her and nine other women have committed their time on June 13 to help build a duplex house. They have formed team We-Have-Harte.

“I saw the write-up in the Woolwich Observer, actually, about the Wellesley build for Habitat for Humanity and I kind of went, ‘you know what, that is in my community’ and it was something that I had always wanted to do,” she said.“So, I put word out to some girlfriends asking who could help, who can’t help and I actually held a meeting with Habitat for Humanity with these ladies at My Sister’s Kitchen.”

To be eligible to volunteer their time on the Habitat for Humanity build, the group needs to donate $2,500 to the affordable housing group, and they are already well on their way. Local businesses have reached out to help, and they are getting close to their goal. They are asking the public to help them with that final push.

“The first is this coming Saturday (May 13), which is an ice cream fundraiser at My Sister’s Kitchen from 12-9 p.m. And Hergott Industries has been doing a fundraiser for us as well. They have crates of wood out front,” said Harte.“They make pallets, and they have their leftover pieces and bags for firewood and they are contributing money to us from that, and I have just approached local businesses and stuff, and we have been quite successful. We aren’t totally there yet, but we are almost there.”

The group of ladies can’t wait to get their hands dirty building the duplex planned for the Village of Wellesley. They aren’t too sure what they are going to be doing once they get to the site, but they are ready.

“We have chosen this project because it gives back to our local community and demonstrates how, if we work together, we can accomplish great things,” said Harte. “None of us are really into construction, but we do have one lady who is a painter, and she is awesome. And there are some people that have that talent, but the whole reason I liked this as a community project is that to do it, you don’t have to have any experience. We could be wheelbarrowing gravel, we could be nailing, but we have no idea. We won’t know until the day we get there, because it just depends on how quickly we move, or how much of the house has already been finished. Maybe the foundation has been laid and they are in the process of putting up the framing.”

Harte also encourages others to get out and volunteer their time and fundraising efforts to the cause. It could benefit those closer to home than you think.

“You can go outside of your comfort zone. It is an amazing feeling and it turns out that I happen to know the family that we are building for. It is one of my customers that I have at work. We were just chatting and he mentioned that his kids are all excited because they are moving. He told me that they were moving to Wellesley and he said, ‘Habitat for Humanity is building our house.’ And my face just dropped,” she said. “So, I told him that me and nine other ladies were going to be building the house. For me, it was an aha! moment. It was meant to be. It was meant to happen. Because no experience is required, I think it is an opportunity for anybody and everybody to do something for their community. It is just a great feeling to give back.”

Their first public fundraiser for the Habitat for Humanity build starts at 12 p.m. on May 13 at My Sister’s Kitchen in St. Clements. The group will be selling ice cream, with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.

Liz Bevan
Liz Bevan is a reporter and photographer for The Observer. She has written for community newspapers in western Canada and has been published in national newspapers and magazines.