2,000 Women hammer away at poverty housing at Canada's largest Women Build to date

    Habitat for Humanity Toronto will host thousands of women builders from
    across North America to kick start their Women Build Blitz.

    TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ - This Friday, Canada's largest Habitat for
Humanity Women Build event will commence where nearly 2,000 women will gather
to build homes, and hope, for families in need. The Women Build Blitz will run
Friday May 1st until Saturday May 9th, 2009 at the Hainford build site near
Lawrence Avenue East and Morningside Road, with an ambitious goal of building
16 Energy Star(R) homes for Habitat for Humanity Toronto's Partner Families.
    "The Women Build is more than just a building project" says Neil
Hetherington, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Toronto. "It's a movement to create
community inspiration and radical change."
    The Women Build Blitz is unique in that it promotes women as leaders and
provides an opportunity for them to learn new construction and building skills
under the direction of expert tradespersons. It encourages spirit,
empowerment, solidarity, fun, learning and a whole lot of pride in working
with a family to build a new home. "Everyone is really excited and looking
forward to getting started on Friday" adds Hetherington. "Our volunteers,
donors and staff are itching to put on their steel-toes and start swinging
their hammers at the single greatest undertaking that Habitat for Humanity has
had in this city."

    Close to the Goal of $2 Million

    Habitat for Humanity Toronto is thrilled with the achievements of their
Women Build partners, although they still have a little further to go as they
are still over $100,000 short of our Women Build goal of $2 million.

    Daily Highlights - there's something happening every day!

    -  Friday May 1st - Launch of the Women Build Blitz, with exciting celebs
       and politicos in tow such as The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson;
       MPP's Kathleen Wynne, Linda Jeffrey and Laura Albanese; Supermodel
       Monica Schnarre; and comedian and tool guru Mag Ruffman.

    -  Saturday May 2nd - two partner families will put in a good day's work
       towards their sweat equity hours.

    -  Sunday May 3rd - Canadian funny gal and home improvement expert
       Mag Ruffman will be filming for her blog toolgirl.com, she is also
       Habitat's official videographer for the event. The Daily Devotion will
       be given by Rabbi Rena Arshenoff, and lunch will be generously
       provided by the Grace Presbyterian Church.

    -  Monday May 4th - 4 homes will be rigged for the hoisting of their
       roofs. Great photo-op!

    -  Tuesday May 5th - Lululemon will be on site today getting volunteers
       limber with a lunchtime stretch.

    -  Wednesday May 6th - Female students from U of T and Havergal College
       take a day-off from the books and get outside to help for a good

    -  Thursday May 7th - Deputy Jane Dick and the women of the Toronto
       Police Service will be rolling up their sleeves to help end the
       poverty cycle for Toronto communities.

    -  Friday May 8th - Interior Design guru Kimberly Seldon will be on the
       other side of drywall today to help build.

    -  Saturday May 9th - CTV's Christine Bentley and her fellow Rotarians
       will be volunteering her efforts on the last build day. Women Build
       wrap up festivities will include musical guests and the TPS will lead
       all volunteers on site in a horse and flag parade.

    Women making a difference for other Women

    It's a surprising and unfortunate statistic that over 30% of Habitat for
Humanity Toronto's Partner Families are single mothers. When women live in
poverty, so do their children; more than 190,000 children in the GTA live
below the poverty line. The good news is that initiatives such as the Women
Build Blitz generate thousands of new donors and volunteers to increase our
ongoing build capacity. They draw 50-70 % first-time Habitat volunteers, and
thus have tremendous potential to increase an affiliate's build capacity.
    Since the first North American Women Build project in 1991, more than 650
Women Build homes have been built across North America and in fourteen
countries around the world. In Canada five homes have already been built by
women crews.

    About Habitat for Humanity Toronto:

    Established in 1988, Habitat for Humanity Toronto is a non-profit,
non-denominational Christian housing organization. We welcome all people
without discrimination to join us as we build simple, decent, affordable homes
in partnership with low-income families. One hundred percent of all
administrative and fundraising costs are paid for by the operation of three
ReStores. Habitat ReStores sell quality new and gently used donated building
materials. Every 10 minutes, Habitat for Humanity helps a family improve their
housing situation in more than 100 countries around the world.
    The Habitat for Humanity Toronto Women Build project is a part of a
one-time 60-home development of affordable and market value homes created by
WRP Neighbourhood Housing. For more information on WRP please visit
    To see our progress on site and for more information about Women Build,
please visit www.helpwomenbuild.ca
    For more information about Habitat for Humanity Toronto, please visit

For further information:

For further information: To attend or schedule an interview, please
contact: Neil Hetherington, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, (416) 755-7353
ext 223, Cell: (416) 436-4190, neil@torontohabitat.on.ca; Joanna Matthews,
Communications and Events Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, (416)
755-7353 ext 228, Cell: (416) 277-3064, jmatthews@torontohabitat.on.ca

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