Vail Today: Diva Day at Habitat for Humanity builds more than homes
By Tricia Swenson
If you were anywhere near Nighthawk Circle in Gypsum on Saturday, Oct. 7 you probably saw plenty of ladies clad in pink t-shirts swinging hammers, operating power tools and assembling trusses. It was all part of Diva Day, a women’s volunteer day at Habitat for Humanity sponsored by Thrivent Financial.Dana Erickson is a financial planner with Thrivent Financial and came up with the 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.No experience is necessary and it’s a fun, collaborative atmosphere. Volunteers work alongside the crew from Habitat for Humanity and all tools, safety equipment, and materials needed for the day are provided.“I watched someone today who originally said she wanted to paint, but the doors weren’t ready yet, so she’s now operating the buzz saw. It’s great to watch these ladies step outside their comfort zone,” Erickson said.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. Whether we are building for a single mom or a family who is trying to make it out here, the security a home provides goes a long way. I get very emotional when I think of what this really means,” Erickson said.The Eagle County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is one of 6 communities in Colorado receiving funding from Thrivent Financial this year. Thrivent Financial is the largest corporate sponsor for Habitat for Humanity worldwide.“For the women who come out to build, I think this provides a lot of empowerment and gratitude for our own homes and our own situations,” Erickson said. “You can put your head on your pillow at night and know that you made a difference in your community, you gave back and had fun doing it as well.”
The proposed deal would be a three-way agreement between the town, the developer and the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.