Communities that build together, grow together!
That’s why it’s important for us – the Waterstone Mortgage Home Office team – to give back to the people and organizations in our local neighborhoods.
One organization that has been near and dear to our heart for many years now is Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County (Habitat Waukesha), a non-profit that shares our goal of helping local individuals and families achieve the dream of homeownership. In fact, we started supporting Habitat back in 2017, so it was only natural for us to come alongside Habitat Waukesha and support their 2019 Women Build event, which took place on May 7-11 and 14-18.
Watch the video!
This year, we served as a Women Build co-sponsor with our parent company, WaterStone Bank. Together with the bank, we made a financial donation, and sent some of our employee volunteers to the build site to get their hands dirty!
On Day 1, the Waterstone Mortgage ladies and some of our friends from WaterStone Bank arrived at the Waukesha build site decked out in their festive Women Build pink t-shirts and hardhats, ready to hit the ground running (or, should we say, sawing?)
As the ladies commenced their work, we had the chance to meet the homeowner-to-be, Dawn Lhuillier, a hardworking mom with a contagious smile and a bubbly personality. Dawn was thrilled to witness the beginnings of her future home, where she and her younger daughter will live. Dawn’s older daughter, Courtney, is a college student and a member of the National Guard who is currently living in England, and her youngest, nine-year-old Myah, has severe special needs.
The new home will be a dream come true for Dawn, who is looking forward to the ADA-compliant floorplan that will allow adequate space for Myah’s wheelchair and therapy equipment.
“I can’t even begin to thank everyone,” Dawn said. “Habitat has given me something that I thought would never happen for my family and I – owning a home. I can’t thank the Habitat organization and volunteers enough for this opportunity.”
Habitat Waukesha CEO Mike Crowley was also at the build site to welcome the volunteers and join them in their work. He shared some information on the history and importance of Women Build.
“The Women Build program was created to encourage the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat homes,” Mike said. “Our Women Build events provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities. Women Build continues to cross international borders, empowering women everywhere to address affordable housing for themselves, their families, and their neighbors.”
Our volunteers had a successful day working alongside the saints – the retired home construction experts who volunteer their time and talents to Habitat Waukesha’s building endeavors.
The following week, our second batch of Waterstone Mortgage and WaterStone Bank volunteers experienced the first stormy day of the Women Build process. Luckily, despite the rainy skies, there was interior work to be done at another Habitat Waukesha house on White Rock Avenue. The revival of this street has been due largely to Habitat Waukesha, which has renovated and rejuvenated many older White Rock Avenue homes that had fallen into disarray.
In the White Rock Avenue home, the ladies assembled in the living room to hear their instructions for the day, which included painting the upstairs rooms and front porch. By lunchtime, the skies had cleared, and the volunteers made their way over to Dawn’s future home to commence the building process there.
Overall, the two Women Build days that we participated in were a huge success, and our volunteers had nothing but positive things to say about the experience. It was an added bonus that they were able to meet Dawn and hear her story.
“It was a wonderful experience to speak with Dawn and hear the excitement in her voice,” said Waterstone Mortgage volunteer Lisa Fenske. “She was deeply thankful for the time that each volunteer had dedicated to the build process, and her sincerity and gratefulness was touching to see. The Waterstone Mortgage and WaterStone Bank volunteers were glad to help support Dawn’s dream, and we hope she will have many years of happy memories in her new home.”