In the days leading up to Mother's Day, construction crews of women volunteers will join Habitat for Humanity to help build more than 200 houses in all 50 states. In Houston, Texas, they will be joined by Grammy award-winning gospel recording artist and radio morning show host Yolanda Adams and, in Paterson, N.J., New York Times best-selling author Julie Edelman. These pre-Mother's Day activities are part of Habitat's third annual National Women Build Week, May 1–9, sponsored by Lowe's.
National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to eliminate poverty housing. The event is an initiative of Habitat for Humanity's Women Build program, which recruits, educates and nurtures women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities.
"What we're doing this week is a living example of one of my favorite lyrics, 'The things we do, the things we say are gentle rays of hope that touch us all each day,'" Adams said. "I'm so happy we are able to come together as strong, capable women building more than rays of hope for our communities. We are building futures with families throughout the country."
Lowe's is committing $1 million to National Women Build Week by providing $5,000 grants to 200 participating affiliates. This build is a major initiative of Lowe's five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. That commitment includes underwriting of Habitat's Women Build program, as well as providing construction know-how at in-store clinics and build sites, and funding for a variety of Habitat projects across the country.
"Lowe's has been the proud sponsor of Habitat's Women Build program since 2004. This innovative program encourages women from all walks of life to pick up their hammers and build homes alongside Habitat partner families," said Larry D. Stone, Lowe's president and COO and chairman of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. "This year marks the third anniversary of National Women Build Week. Lowe's salutes the more than 11,000 engaged women who have volunteered on Habitat jobsites across the U.S. during National Women Build Week to help bring an end to poverty housing."
Since Habitat's Women Build program's inception in 1998, nearly 1,700 Habitat for Humanity Women Build homes have been constructed with Habitat partner families.
"As a mother I realize the need to help empower women," Edelman said. "I hope together, we can build communities where we believe we're all doing our individual best, and whatever or however we do it, our personal best is more than OK! All of us working together – moms, women, families, Habitat and Lowe's, especially leading up to our day, Mothers Day – can truly make a difference by helping women build and maintain their homes, and their sense of self and dignity."
"As we at Habitat continue our work to provide simple, decent, affordable housing, we are both honored and humbled by the incredible support Habitat's women volunteers, sponsors and partner family heads-of-household lend to National Women Build Week," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We are grateful that all across the country, women are addressing housing needs facing low-income families by joining Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's during this important nationwide initiative."