Our 10th Annual Women’s Empowerment (WE) Build was a great success! This past Saturday, May 12, 2018, we had over 350 people in attendance to support our Veteran Enriched Neighborhood®! Each of the teams were assigned to strategic jobs that help us keep our homes affordable for veterans, and allows us to complete the Santa Clarita Veteran Enriched Neighborhood® more quickly.

Our trauma-informed care program that takes place at our My TIME® (My Trauma Informed Military Enrichment) center, located in Santa Clarita, needs supplies for our programing. Our Tear Soup program, which is a 7 to 10 week program that helps participants cope with grief and loss, requires a lot of materials. These include journals, folders, and notebooks for our veterans to be able to take notes throughout the workshop series, and trust that their supplies and privacy are kept safe. Our Art Prep Team volunteers created an entire year’s worth of supplies for this program!

Our Concrete Team did an amazing job! They finished the entire job and completed over 150 feet of side walk! This team worked hard mixing, pouring, and forming concrete, staying well into the afternoon to make sure the job got done. This team was such an amazing team! Special thank you to team leader and long-time volunteer Ben Dibene for supporting these women and teaching them a difficult new skill.  Ben is always so positive and helpful, and this time was no exception! He is truly is a great supporter of our Veteran Enriched Neighborhoods®! Thank you Ben!

Our Framing Team was great and really worked hard to frame the bottom floors of four homes! This effort took a big team and all of the women came out ready to get to work! They were on ladders and swinging hammers. Santa Clarita City Mayor Laurene and City Council Member Marsha McLean were in this wonderful group and helped raise the first walls of the day! Also lending her skills to this Team was Diana Victoria Coronado, the Director of Government Affairs for the Los Angeles/Ventura BIA. Thank you all so much for coming!

Our Carpentry Team did a beautiful job installing baseboards in four homes, and the worked looked perfect! These volunteers included a big group from longtime supporter Lockheed Martin, and all took on this job with a fierce sense of responsibility. This team worked alongside one of our homeowners, Army Veteran Karen Burbank, and Builder’s Ball Committee Member, and supporter Maria Weintraub. Thank you ladies for all your help!

Our Fencing Team, led by our very own Judi MacLean, put in hard work and completed all of the fence posts and gates for 9 homes! This was a tremendous task. Installing posts requires very physical and precise work, digging a deep, narrow hole, and pouring concrete to ensure the stability of the fences long-term. Thank you so much to our fencing team! Gloria Mercado-Fortine, who was named Santa Clarita’s Women of the Year the night before, was also a part of this hard working team. Thank you Team!

Special thanks to our board members that attended the event and even brought their families out to participate, including Hunt Braly, Karen Brown, Richard Doss, Bob Niesner, and Tom Stemnock. A special thank you to Lily Knight who surprised us with an additional donation of $1,000 the day of the event and a special recognition certificate to our CEO Donna Deutchman for her recent Non-Profit CEO of the Year award.

This was the 10th anniversary of this event which is very special to us. We were so excited to see so many familiar faces as well as many new friends. Thank you all for supporting our veterans!

Over all on this day of Women Empowerment, we completed over $86,200 of work and brought us much closer to completing the final 18 homes of our 78-home Santa Clarita Veteran Enriched Neighborhood®.