Weyerhaeuser Co. bought an entire day of Garland County Habitat for Humanity's Women Build event this year, purchasing 30 VIP tickets for its staff to help build two homes for local families at 200 Beard St.
Weyerhaeuser's staff was originally scheduled to volunteer on Oct. 5, but with the incoming rain, the company was rescheduled for Oct. 26.
Angel Chapman, Weyerhaeuser's strategy and technology administration assistant, has been with the company for five years. She said Weyerhaeuser's core values over citizenship drew her to the position before she even applied.
This is Chapman's first Women Build event and her second time building with Habitat for Humanity. She is no stranger to volunteer work and serving the community, though.
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"I grew up in a volunteer household," she said. "My parents started a nonprofit back in the '80s. In kindergarten, I was bagging lunches for transients that were coming through and things like that. So volunteerism is just in my blood, and that's when I saw that it was part of Weyerhaeuser's core values; it really connected me to the company."
She said the team-building aspect of the event was something she valued.
"This is very exciting," she said, "This is the kind of team building that I appreciate. Being able to not only spend time together, get to know each other, but actually get our hands in the dirt."
Chapman said building the homes has also been an empowering experience, as women are not traditionally considered construction workers.
"It encourages women to come out because there were several here that were a little leery about whether or not they'd be able to physically contribute," she said. "Here we are, you know, all dressed up, and everybody has a great sense of accomplishment that's going to empower them to come back."
Cindy Wagstaff, executive director of Garland County Habitat for Humanity, said this year's event has been a success.
"It was a complete sellout. We had an amazing amount of participation. It was also the first year that Oaklawn was presenting sponsor. We're incredibly pleased with that and very grateful to them."
Wagstaff also said that building two homes this year was great, as last year, they could only build one.
The homes are currently not move-in ready, but Wagstaff estimates they will be in late spring or early summer.