Women’s groups help build a home at Habitat



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Oct. 1 – Miter jigsaws, staple guns and tape measures were unusual workday tools for a group of five women from Scheels on Thursday.

The staff switched to their regular job for a day volunteering at a project at the Habitat for Humanity home in Nicollet. Three of the colleagues had previously volunteered at Habitat, while the other two were first-timers.

Everyone was on site on Thursday to take back and learn new skills as part of a Habitat initiative featuring teams of female volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota organized 17 teams of five women to work on Nicollet’s home project as part of the initiative, known as “She Nailed It.” Along with raising money and teaching women new skills, the initiative helps other women raise families in affordable and safe homes.

Scheels also had a volunteer team on Wednesday. HomeTown Bank had a Monday, LIV Aveda had a Tuesday and Pioneer Bank had a Friday. The women at Scheels are excited about the opportunity, said Jessica Krause, an assistant store manager who works with human resources.

“The craziness came with She Nailed It, and we thought it was just a cool opportunity to bring out our team and here we are,” he said.

The team worked on the wall frames and doors on the second floor of an adjoining house to complete the Habitat projects at Elmwood Court. Krause and his two colleagues worked on a project of a couple of houses last hour.

Seeing it again now that it’s completed is worthwhile, he said. A family can move before too long.

“When I’m driving through Nicollet and my family is in my car, I’m always pointing and I’m like,‘ That’s the house mom helped, ’” she said.

Like other Habitat projects, Nicollet volunteers do not need home building backgrounds or constructions to be able to lend. They just need to be ready to work and willing to learn from construction manager Mike Kroenke.

The experience was Rachel McGregor’s first time working in a house. The assistant in charge of the store at Scheels said at first it was a bit scary, but the learning curve ended up not being too steep.

He and his colleagues exchanged basic gun elements to dismantle the upper boards and gabas to break the boards. They said the change from their regular work routine was nice.

“It’s something that I think people sometimes think women can’t do,” McGregor said of the job. “And we’re all here and we can do it.”

As she descended a staircase, Kroenke heard what she said and added that “women can do something.” All the female volunteers since the initiative began on Sept. 13, she said, have been very good to work with.

“Their hearts are there,” he said. “… They took this (project) from the beginning to the last weeks.”

The residence will continue to operate on the Nicollet home during the winter before a potential 2022 spring move date for a family.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

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