By SHERI GASSAWAY
St. Charles, MO – About 20 UAW Local 2250 Women’s Committee members joined forces last month to make the dream of homeownership a reality for at least two deserving families in the St. Charles County area.
On Oct. 11, one group of sisters spent the day installing interior and exterior insulation on a Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County Women Build home in the 2200 block of N. Village Drive in St. Charles. Two weeks later, a second group of Women’s Committee members hung drywall at another Women Build home across the street.
Women Build works in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County and Habitat for Humanity International. The Women Build model engages female volunteers of any skill level to fundraise and learn new skills while building on a Habitat construction site.
Local 2250 Women’s Committee Chair Kim Cook Bell said the volunteers had a great time together. She said several of the women told her they had always wanted to participate in a build, but never had the chance.
“Doing that work was so meaningful to them,” Cook Bell said. “I looked at their faces and saw complete happiness. It was heartwarming knowing we were working on a home for someone in our community who might otherwise not have one.”
This is the fifth year the Local 2250 Women’s Committee has participated in the Women Build Program. Cook Bell said she is researching opportunities to partner with Habitat of Humanity of St. Louis County next year.
“A lot of our members live in St. Louis County, and we want them to have an opportunity to give back in the community in which they live,” she said. “We also plan to continue our partnership with Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County.”
In the Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles Women Build program, women provide volunteer labor for an entire house build, including everything from raising money for materials to hoisting the first wall to final landscaping touches. The emphasis is to concentrate the talents and resources of women who want to contribute to a meaningful change in their community.
The program, which reaches across boundaries of gender, race and class, supports the efforts of Habitat for Humanity to eliminate substandard housing. It brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions worldwide. No experience is necessary and on-the-job training is available.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF ST. CHARLES COUNTY
Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. The organization builds and repairs houses in St. Charles County using volunteer labor and donations. Partner families buy the homes through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans and complete a minimum of 350 sweat equity hours. For more information, call 636-978-5712 or visit habitatstcharles.org.