Diva Days brings out dozens of women to build homes for Habitat for Humanity | VailDaily.com

Diva Days brings out dozens of women to build homes for Habitat for Humanity

Thrivent Financial sponsors an all-women build day in Gypsum

A large amount of work was completed at the new Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s build site due to 81 women coming out for Diva Days earlier this month. The efforts helped move six new homes forward at the Grace Avenue residences in Gypsum.

Plenty of ladies clad in pink T-shirts were swinging hammers and operating power tools. Diva Day is a women’s volunteer day at Habitat for Humanity sponsored by Thrivent Financial.

No experience is necessary, and it’s a fun, collaborative atmosphere. Volunteers work alongside the Habitat for Humanity crew, and all tools, safety equipment, and materials necessary for the day are provided.

Dana Erickson is a financial planner with Thrivent Financial and came up with this idea of women building together with Habitat for Humanity several years ago while working in Minnesota and brought the idea to Vail when she moved here full time.

For Erickson, the Diva Day build has a personal meaning. “Growing up, my mom was divorced and made all kinds of sacrifices so that my siblings and I could have a home,” she said.

“The three of us kids helped Mom remove carpet, linoleum, paint walls and landscape the yard. We all still to this day love our home base and all the memories we shared there. Habitat is important to me so that I can have a part in helping others have the same loving home that I once had,” Erickson said.

Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s three-year strategic plan aims to build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. The plan runs through December 2021 and centers around increasing the organization’s homebuilding capacity by 33%. The latest project in Gypsum focuses on constructing 20 affordable and energy-efficient homes between now and 2021.

In addition to two build days, Thrivent Financial and Habitat for Humanity sponsored a happy hour with drinks, appetizers and amazing desserts at Hovey & Harrison.

Given the interest in future building opportunities from the Diva Day participants, Habitat decided to start a regular women’s build group on Thursdays. To be a part of it, sign up at http://www.habitatvailvalley.org.