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May 9, 2014

Habitat puts women to work

NEW CASTLE — It was Ladies Day at the construction site, even for some women who had never handled a drill or joist.

The women gathered Thursday at a Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity house under construction at 209 E. Madison Ave. in Mahoningtown to help build a deck and apply a coat of stucco to the foundation.

The event was National Women Build Week, which is being observed through Sunday. Lawrence County’s Habitat for Humanity was one of 300 local Habitat affiliates chosen to participate. It was the fourth time in the event’s seven years that Lawrence County was selected to take part.

Always the week preceding Mother’s Day, the event seeks to involve women in helping eliminate poverty housing because so many women and children are affected by it, according to the national organization.

For participating, Lawrence County Habitat will receive a $5,000 Lowe’s gift card to be spent on equipping the house, according to Sheree Cunningham, Habitat executive director. Lowe’s partners with the organization.

The day began at 8 a.m. when the first shift of eight women arrived, as did some male volunteers. They were supervised by Habitat employee Chad Weatherby.

Some volunteers also worked on a neighboring house at the corner of Newell and Madison avenues, which had been completed several months ago but needed landscaping work.

The workers divided into two shifts, with eight in the morning and eight in the afternoon, with work scheduled to continue until 3 p.m. with breaks for lunch and devotions. The afternoon shift was to include some women employed by Lowe’s.

The morning attracted women of different ages and background, all of them looking to do a good deed despite a lack of building experience. Most said they had attended a training session on basic construction skills given at Lowe’s Monday.

One of the volunteers said she is retired and had “never done anything but banking” prior to Thursday.

The home is being built for the Thornton family and is expected to be ready in September.

Cunningham said volunteers are welcome to work on the house and can just show up at the site between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays or Wednesdays. They also can contact Cunningham by calling (724) 652-3438 or emailing

More information is available by calling the Habitat office at (724) 652-3438.


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