Chicago Star
Women Build Hall of Fame
Year after year, countless Women Builders go above and beyond to boost one another up and accomplish some pretty remarkable feats. We'll toast our Gatorade shots to that! 
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  • Record-setting: Yet again, Women Builders blew past their $575,000 fundraising goal to raise an astonishing $658,267! Team Skender was our top fundraising team with a record $48,921, and our top five individual fundraisers brought in a collective $93,361!
  • Special Visit: Alderman Ronnie Mosley paid a visit to see the work happening in his ward and to learn more about the Women Build mission.
  • Hammer Relay Record: Since 2021, we've challenged our Women Build teams to hammer a nail as fast as possible. This year, Team J.B. Hunt did the impossible: complete the Hammer Relay in two hits and six seconds!
  • The Hammys: The first ever Hammy Awards were introduced at the Women Build 2023 Appreciation Party. The awards were handmade by Women Build Committee Co-Chair, Joan Russick, and included categories like First Donation of 2023, Youngest Builder, Best Dressed Team, Most Creative Fundraisers, Hammer Relay Champions, and more.

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  • Tenth Anniversary: Women Build Chicago turned ten years old, hitting many milestones (see below) and celebrating how far it has come since its humble beginnings in 2013 (see far below). 
  • Half a Million: In 2022, fundraising was like no other. Going above and beyond their $475,000 goal, our Women Builders raised over $600,000 to help more women achieve homeownership. The Women of Mass Construction kept their title as top fundraising team for the third year in the row, raising $35,000+. All five of our top individual fundraisers raised more than $10,000 each with the Tricia Manhard raising a total of $15,000. Record breakers all around!
  • New Neighborhood: This was the first Women Build that took place in Habitat Chicago's focus neighborhood of Greater Grand Crossing. Over 550 Women Builders worked on four houses across ten different days and two different build sites
  • In the News: Three different news outlets stopped by the build site to check out the great work our Women Builders were doing and learned more about the event's impact. Watch CBS Chicago's coverage:

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  • Fundraise the Roof. Over 500 women participated in Women Build this year, our largest event to-date. Not only did they advance construction of six homes in West Pullman, but they also raised over $470,000 (of a $375,000 goal might we add) to help their fellow women become first-time homeowners. Team Women of Mass Construction led the way with $27,332, finishing as the top fundraising team for the second year in a row. And after years of consistently finishing in the Top 5, Tammy P. worked her way to top fundraising individual with a total of $10,820.
  • Steadfast Supporters. Out of the 56 teams that participated, 41 teams returned from the previous year. That's an outstanding number, and truly shows how much the Women Build mission resonates with our builders and how the experience is one-of-a-kind.
  • Hammer Time. On the final build day of Women Build, the stars aligned for Team Hammer Time to become the 2021 Hammer Relay Champions with 15 swings in 15 seconds! They beat the runner-up by four swings and earned #braggingrights for the year.
  • Women of the Month. Eight of our women homebuyers came onto site to work on their and their neighbors' future homes throughout the month and three current homeowners stopped by the event to reminisce about their Women Build experience. Watch the video below for their words on Women Build:

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  • Defying Expectations. Though 2020 brought uncertainties in many aspects of our lives, our Women Builders were determined to help seven women become first-time homeowners. And that we did. Together, we blew our $300K goal out of the water, raising nearly 394K!
  • All Stars. Our top five Women Builders all raised $8,000+, a height never before reached in Chicago Women Build history. As for our teams, top team Women of Mass Construction raised a total of $26,494!
  • Celebrating Chicago. Once again, our friends at Goose Island generously hosted a virtual Women Build Appreciation party, including a complimentary 15-pack and Chicago history lesson to go with each beer tasting.
  • Working Hard for Your Future. Our homebuyers were out on site right alongside our Women Builders! Here's homebuyer Joyce, expressing her gratitude for all the Women Builders:

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  • Raising the Bar. Year after year, we challenge the Women Build community with a new fundraising goal, and year after year, they continue to exceed our expectations. In 2019, we exceeded our $275,000 goal by over $10,000.
  • Above and Beyond. Both our top Individual Builder and Top Team won by large margins at this year's Women Build. Lee O. brought home a whopping $9,100, almost $4,000 more than the runner-up. For teams, CREW Chicago raised a total of $23,441. Record-breaking!
  • A Reason to Celebrate. Our wonderful friends at Goose Island generously hosted our Women Build Appreciation party for all builders who raised over $750 each. Good food, good drink, good company – what more can you ask for?
  • Women of the Week. Habitat Chicago's newest homebuyers came out to build their homes – all seven of them! Along with our buyers, two veteran Habitat Chicago homeowners came to show their support, celebrating their previous Women Build experience and their new lives as homeowners.
  • In the Spotlight. Anayeli Ruiz from NBC5 joined us at the construction site in West Pullman to highlight Women Build and Habitat Chicago's work in the area. Click below to watch:


  • No Hurdle Too High. In an especially difficult time for women, the Women Build community came together in 2018 to raise over $242,000 - exceeding our shared goal by over $67,000!
  • New Champions. After countless changes on our Top Team and Top Individual Fundraiser leaderboards, Team Turner Construction claimed the crown of Top Team, dethroning Team Saville at the very last minute. Turner Construction's Team Leader Rebecca C simultaneously brought in over $5,000 to earn the honor of Top individual fundraiser. 
  • A Woman for All Seasons. Women Build week 2018 delivered us all four seasons in five days, from 85 degrees and sunny to 30 and frigid. The weather was no match for our Women Builders, though, who powered through it all to raise walls (and walls and walls and more walls..).
  • Five New Women Homebuyers. Five of Habitat Chicago's women homebuyers, and 2016 Women Build homeowner Catherine G., hit the build site during Women Build week to build a stronger future hand-in-hand with our Women Build community
  • Raising awareness. ABC7 Chicago joined us on-site to help raise awareness of the Women Build mission. Click below to watch:


  • Showing of Support. Women Build Homebuyer Darlene emanated pure pride as she raised the first-story walls of her home and helped construct her garage from start to finish, roof and all. Best of all, she did it alongside her daughters and three of her future neighbors.
  • Crushing our GoalsFor the first time in Women Build history, we exceeded our fundraising goal, bringing in a whopping $163,762 to build a safe, permanent home for Darlene.
  • The Reign of Team ShelbyAfter a tight race with nail-biting lead changes, Team Shelby claimed the crown of the top team for the second consecutive year. Between 2016 and 2017, these leading ladies raised over $40,000.
  • Building in the Rain. This video proves women will stand up and show up for one another, rain or shine:  


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  • Catherine G.: A Full-Time Powerhouse. Women Build Homebuyer Catherine G. spent all five days at the construction site building her home with her own two hands, while also pulling off a full 40-hour work week and taking care of her young sons. 
  • Team Shelby Claims the Throne. At the beginning of the week, Catherine's future home was an empty foundation. By the end of the week, the second-story walls were up and we raised just under $150,000 to make it all happen, in no small part because of our top team Shelby's incredible efforts. 
  • Ain't No Birthday Like a Build Day Birthday. Women Builders showed off their vocal range by singing Happy Birthday to Women Builder, Ashley D. who rang in her 17th birthday on the construction site. Fun fact: she had the same experience a year prior for her sweet sixteen! 
  • High Fives All Around. Jeannie Gang and her team at Studio Gang Architects demonstrated proper usage of the high-five zones on-site and gave us all the gift of this hilarious awareness-raising video:
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  • Carrying the Weight of the Walls. The number of wall sections that our Women Builders constructed and carried on their shoulders was too high to even count. 
  • Growth Galore. The Women Build community brought in an awe-inspiring $145,376 - growing from the previous year's already impressive work by over $30,000.
  • Team CREW DominationCREW was the top team of 2015, bringing in over $13,000. On top of that, CREW team member Tammy K. took home the title of the top fundraiser (one she'd ultimately claim again in 2017). 
  • Good News. Jim Williams and his team at CBS Chicago came to the build site to capture and tell the Women Build story.

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  • Women Build Homebuyers Can Do It All. Geraldine R not only volunteered countless hours during Women Build 2014 to kick off the construction of her home, but she also took the time to bake cakes for the ladies on-site. Less than a year later, after completing 250 volunteer hours and her homebuyer education courses, she claimed those hard-earned keys
  • Volunteers Leading the Way. 2014 marked the first year that Women Build planning was led by an extraordinary, all-women volunteer committee. Their efforts catalyzed the Women Build community of 30 to raise just under $115,000, with the help of event sponsor Lowe's. 
  • Raising Money, Chopping TreesTop fundraiser, Kristy F., brought in an amazing $3,500 solo! She also sealed the deal by yielding a massive chainsaw to fell a tree. 
  • Progress. These snapshots offer a glimpse into the amazing progress our Women Builders made in just four short days: 
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  • Chicago Women Build is Born. Our very first Women Build in Chicago was in 2013! Our inaugural event brought 18 tremendous women together to raise $8,000 and complete a home repair project for Ms. Terry in West Pullman which set the stage for the years ahead. 
  • Happy Stomachs, Happy Hearts. Saturday's group featured Tina's chocolate chip banana bread which our stomachs are still raving about years later. Thumbs up all-around!
  • A Big Vision. Women Build 2013 was one of Habitat Chicago's very first opportunities to introduce volunteers to our investments in West Pullman. 
  • True Gratitude.  Women Build Repair Homeowner Ms. Terry captures what Women Build is all about in this note of thanks:



Have something you'd like added to the Hall of Fame? Let us know about it!