News briefs: Asheville Habitat celebrates women in construction

MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE: Volunteer Melissa Banks works on an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity project. Over half the organization's volunteers and staff are women. Photo courtesy of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

Asheville Habitat celebrates women in construction

In honor of Women in Construction Week, March 3-9, and Habitat for Humanity International’s National Women Build Week, March 1-10, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is highlighting women’s participation and leadership in its local efforts.

Women make up over half of the local nonprofit’s construction staff and work in roles that provide new construction, home repair, volunteer coordination and construction administration. Each year, the Women Build Advocacy Team — aka WomBATs — recruits female volunteers and raises funds. This year’s Women Build House will come together on May 7.

“Women bear the brunt of our housing crisis. I am proud that at Habitat women lead in the solutions, from the construction site to the boardroom. I hope our story of gender equity in the construction industry inspires others, locally and nationally,” said Andy Barnett,  Asheville Habitat’s executive director, in a press release.

Oh! Woman ceases print publication

After 16 years, Oh! Woman, A WNC Woman Publication, will no longer publish a print magazine. WNC Woman made the announcement in a Feb. 5 post on its Facebook page.

“When recent paper pricing and printing pricing went up, we were not able to breach the percentage gap between the current ad pricing and the cost of doing business,” the post read, adding that the publication is evaluating future options for its brand.

According to the publication’s website, Julie Savage Parker, editor Sandi Tomlin-Sutker and publisher Sandra Grace started WNC Woman in 2002.

“The mission of Western North Carolina Woman is to celebrate the inherent strength, wisdom and grace of women creating community in their own and others’ lives,” the organization says on its website. Grace and Tomlin-Sutker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Raise your voice

  • Charles George VA Medical Center will hold a veterans town hall meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the lower-level atrium at 1100 Tunnel Road. Medical center leadership will be present to take questions and concerns from veterans and their families about VA services.
  • On Monday, March 11, the city of Asheville will host a community meeting about a proposed new fire station on Broadway in the Five Points neighborhood. Starting at 6:30 p.m. at Greater Works Church, 25 Forsythe St., city officials and the station’s architect will be available to hear comments and share details about the project. More information is available at
  • United Way of Transylvania County will hold a series of fireside chats with CEO Louis Negrón at Food Matters Market & Café, 1 Market St., Brevard. The three Wednesday meetings — March 6, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; March 13, 3-4 p.m.; and March 27, 6:30-8 p.m. — will serve as informal conversations about the local nonprofit and how it should grow to address community needs.

Nods to nonprofits

  • Brother Wolf Animal Rescue announced that its mobile clinic has spayed and neutered over 1,000 dogs and cats since launching in November. The nonprofit projects that it will treat roughly 6,000 animals over the course of 2019, thereby easing the load on other area organizations. “By preventing unwanted litters, we can prevent thousands of animals from ever entering the overcrowded shelter system in the first place,” said Audrey Lodato, Brother Wolf’s director of animal care, in a press release.
  • The United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has partnered with GE Aviation to distribute 200 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) kits to students in Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools. Each kit contains a take-home learning activity and a profile of a GE Aviation employee. “We’re hoping this gives the kids some ideas about the types of things that they can do in an industry that’s focused on tech,” said GE Aviation lead production quality specialist Sarah Congleton in a press release.
  • WNC nonprofits Mountain Housing Opportunities, Four Square Community Action and Mountain Projects received part of $8 million in funding from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency’s Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool. This money supports projects that help veterans, seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes, which creates savings on health care and long-term care.

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