Volunteers and sponsors of primarily women joined Knoxville Habitat for Humanity and future homeowner Diane Latimore to raise the walls of Latimore’s affordable home as 2021 Women Build began on Saturday, June 26.
This year’s Women Build is in memory of Veda Maxwell Bateman, Ph.D. Thanks to a generous gift made in memory of Dr. Bateman’s legacy, every donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. Dr. Bateman devoted her life to helping others through volunteer service. She served in the American Red Cross in Europe during World War II, and in Korea, supporting troops, and Dr. Bateman volunteered through various organizations serving children and families. She was recognized for her community service and as a woman of leadership.
The first house is being built for Diane Latimore, a third-shift LPN who cares for patients with intellectual disabilities. She originally took the third-shift position to go back to school and become an RN but had to step away from continuing education due to critical health challenges. While going through three separate brain surgeries to become healthy again, she opened both her home and her heart to her aging mother in need of care and her son’s best friend after he recently lost his own mother and needed a place to live.
“Latimore is an inspirational woman who embodies strength and love. She’s worked so hard not only to provide for others as a mother, daughter and in her essential nursing role, but also as a future Habitat homeowner earning her 500 sweat equity hours in the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity program. Now, we are all excited to surround her with strong and caring women who are ready to help her build a safe and affordable home,” said Kelle Shultz, president/CEO of Knoxville Habitat.
Construction of the second Women Build home begins in August. The 2021 Knoxville Habitat Women Build is sponsored by volunteers and supporters as well as sponsors including Broadway Carpets & Flooring, Junior League of Knoxville, Centrus Energy, Testament Group, Team Foster HR Strategy, Westbrook Thermal Technology and Bobcat of Knoxville.
April Timko is director of marketing & communications, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.