We finally reached the 7th day of the third annual South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build! The last day of Women’s Build.
Shawna and her team felt that this year the schedule for Women’s Build would need to be different. Instead of having a full 5/6/7 days in a row. It was decided that the event would run over two weeks. The first week having Thursday-Saturday and the second week being Wednesday-Saturday. This really allowed those showing up everyday to take a break and most importantly be very present with each group.
I have tried writing this blogpost several times. I have tried writing about updates to the houses. I have tried going into who was volunteering this day. I have tried including all of that together in a mish mash of sorts.
Perhaps I am still finding my voice but the writing just didn’t seem to encompass what the last day really felt like.
The reason is, this last day felt like a really unique one. Some of the volunteers that came that day had been volunteers for years. This was a grounded energy to this day. Perhaps because it was last but I really think it was because of what happened just before I left.
After I witnessed a wall being put up, Shawna took the volunteers on a walk around the completed part of the Habitat for Humanity neighborhood. During this time everyone was listening intently and you could tell they were feeling too.
Shawna spoke about how each family found Habitat for Humanity and what they were like when they first walked into the Habitat office. How they spent their sweat equity hours, earning their homes. How each family member was excited and anxious.
Each volunteer was hanging onto every word Shawna shared about the families living in the red home, or the blue home and the green home.
The best part was when she transitioned to how each family was when they got their Habitat for Humanity Home. The peace, happiness and security not only what the adults would feel but the kids too in that home.
They continued their walk around the homes that I first got to photograph. Where Shawna really got into the how’s and whys of what South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity does for the community and what the people of the community do for each other.
I have a confession to make. I cant stand photographing architecture. At least I used to. Then I met Shawna and loved her. Then I saw the build site and saw the families standing in their homes for the first time whether it was the foundation, just the walls up, the second story added or the whole thing ready for them to move into. Then I loved architecture photography.
It might seem silly but photographing this site, photographing for South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity and all the families and volunteers that put something into this community makes my fear of “architecture photography” all fall away. Because this space, place, organization and people are so much more than just a photo of a building. So much more than just a photo of a home.
They are the community I wish to be in, wish to know.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to photograph for South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build, because that’s when I and so many others get to have that feeling. The feeling of making a difference, the feeling of showing you care and the feeling of building something that matters. Homes, safety, community.
I hope that you enjoy this last post of the event. I hope that you might understand how impactful this event is. I hope I get to photograph more of these kinds of events.
Until next year! This is the end of the Women’s Build event blogpost series 2021.