Women from across Toronto have donned work boots and hard hats in support of Habitat for Humanity.

Ladies trade in high heels for work boots

At first glance it’s just another, noisy construction site.

But on this particular day, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” blasts from a stereo as a group of women wearing pink hard hats and tool belts sport work boots over high heels.

Women from all over Toronto are ready to get their hands dirty as the 2013 Habitat for Humanity Women Build is underway.

Over 1,000 women volunteers are building six homes for families living in the Acme Crescent build site area.

For Sandra Richardson, the build strikes up an emotional chord for her.

“This is my fourth build, and I always seem to get emotional because we do a lot of work in fundraising and team building, but when you see a group of women working together, you’re empowering each other and mentoring each other,” she said.

Richardson, who is Ambassador of the Toronto Women Build and also a team leader for the Toronto Police and Community Partner’s team, is excited for families to start their lives in their new homes.

“You want to see the families happy, having barbeques and getting together with their friends and family. You’re making a difference in somebody’s life,” Richardson said.

A volunteer for Habitat for over 10 years, Tina Holmes wanted to build this year, rather than just volunteering.

“This year I decided to actually take part and build, and really to show that women can use a power tool and a hammer,” Holmes said.

“Women going in are so nervous, but once they start learning the skills they realize if a man can do it, so can we.”

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