Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga will host their annual Women Build Breakfast on Saturday, May 21, from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Chattanoogan Hotel. This year’s special guests include event chair, Stacy Lightfoot, and keynote speaker, Edna Varner.
Habitat’s Women Build Breakfast brings together women and girls of all ages and walks of life through a fun, interactive event.
The breakfast is a call to action to all women to stand in support of affordable housing in Chattanooga and “frame the future” for area families. To date, Habitat has built 28 Women Build homes in Chattanooga with the support of all-female volunteer groups.
Stacy Lightfoot, vice chancellor for Diversity and Engagement at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will serve as the event’s emcee and fundraising chair. Ms. Lightfoot has volunteered with Habitat for over a decade and is a big part of the Habitat family.
“It’s hard to find affordable housing in our community,” said Ms. Lightfoot. “I am so excited to be a part of the Women Build Breakfast because it brings women together on a deeper level by providing opportunities for hands-on learning and important skills needed to build a home.”
Keynote speaker Edna Varner served 30 years in her dream job as a teacher and principal and in 2013, joined the team at PEF to coach new teachers for Project Inspire Teacher Residency. She has also worked with Habitat for many years, and even helped a former student build their first Habitat home. Edna said “I’ve been involved with Habitat for many years, but my fondest Habitat memory so far is helping to build a home for a former student of mine”
Future Women Build homeowner Leandra, nurse at Volunteer Behavior Health and mother of two children, is anxious to make her dreams of becoming a homeowner a reality. Since joining the Habitat homeownership program in 2020, Leandra has flourished. She finished her sweat equity hours in record time, and has benefited from the homeowner education classes.
Leandra said, “I abide by the great Maya Angelou mantra, ‘The sun does not ask permission to shine, and neither do I.’ As I make my journey through the Habitat homeownership program, I strive to shine bright and go the distance to do what’s best for my family and I.”
Leandra is most excited about the peace that will come with living in her own home. One of her life’s goals is to write a book. She’s taken her first step toward that goal by designating a “book corner” in her new floor plan.
Women Build Breakfast is presented by Real Estate Partners Chattanooga LLC (REP) and HUTTON.
Darlene Brown of REP said, “After decades in the real estate industry, I founded Real Estate Partners Chattanooga because I believe that everyone deserves to own a home, and women should have support and empowerment to build wealth while positively impacting their families, their workplaces, and their communities. Supporting Habitat and hardworking, exuberant women like Leandra is a natural extension of our values and mission.”
Founder of HUTTON and ModWash Karen Hutton said, “Women helping women is both empowering and vital to strengthening our communities and enabling the growth of female leadership roles. Women have so much to give and so much at stake. They are the backbone of families and of our country. Now is the time to give back and support our women and what better way to do so then to pitch In and make the dream of becoming a homeowner a reality for women."
For more information about Women Build and for ways to get involved, visit the Habitat website. Women Build Breakfast tickets will go on sale in April on Eventbrite.