Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Women At Work!

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Women At Work!

The walls went up on a new Habitat for Humanity home at 52 Wayside Avenue on Saturday, May 12. And, the women construction crew completed the roof as well. Yes, I did say women! The work on this Habitat home is being spearheaded by the local Habitat affiliates Women Build Program. These women have been working the past two years to raise funds to erect this house. They selected this date to start the build because it was the Mother's Day weekend. They wanted to call attention to the fact that women were "homemakers" in every sense of the word.
This home has been dedicated to the memory of the late Shirl Cialli. Shirl and her husband, Fred, along with another couple, Mike and Jan Dreisbach, got together in 1994, to start the Habitat affiliate in Washington County. Her untiring devotion to the organization for many years certainly merits this home being dedicated to her.
"Shirl would be so happy to see what the women have accomplished," said Sherry Brown-Cooper, Executive Director of the local affiliate. "She would be pleased to know that her daughter, Marji Cialli-Gearhart is now active in the Women Build Program."
The first Women Build home in Washington was part of Habitat's two home blitz-build in April 2005. Upon completion of that home, the women of that Habitat program immediately begin to seek sponsors and raise funds for this one. A grant of $15,000 was provided by Lowe's, the national underwriter of Habitat for Humanity's Women Build Program. Lowe's supports Habitat builds across the country.
The Women Build Program has been established by Habitat for Humanity International to promote the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat homes. The program empowers women to build Habitat for Humanity houses, enabling them to positively impact the lives of children by making home ownership a reality for families! Poverty is a severe threat to children's health, growth and potential. Women can realize that they hold the solution in their hands' to move children out of poverty housing. Women need not wait for others to address substandard housing issues. They have the capability and determination to be part of the solution - one family at a time! Women Build is about women who build, or have always wanted to build. It is about spirit, fun, learning, and a whole lot of pride in working with a family to build a place they can call home. Any woman interested in helping should call the local Habitat office at 301-791-9009.

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.