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Woman Build project breaks ground in SF

“Women have not always built houses, but they have always built homes,” observed Seneca County Manager Suzanne Sinclair. With prayers, speeches and pink shovels, on Saturday Women Build held the official groundbreaking for the first Habitat for Humanity home in Seneca County to be constructed by an all-women crew. The 1,288 square foot, three-bedroom energy efficient home is being built at 6 Seneca Road, Seneca Falls. Brandy Paulk and her daughters will live in the home when it is completed early this fall. They will be required to put in hours of “sweat equity” working with the volunteer crews every Saturday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. and Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 7:30 pm. More volunteers are needed.Lowe’s is a major sponsor for the project, the ninth home to be constructed by Habitat for Humanity in Seneca County. Manager Mike D’Agostiono said the store is looking forward to conducting special clinics to teach skills such as electrical and plumbing work, installing sheet rock and building trusses. And the company, which has already donated $5,000, will work with the fund raising committee to help raise the $45,000 still needed for the project.. For example, on April 18, Women Build tool kits will go on sale at Lowe’s, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Seneca Falls project.Tina Orcutt, Superintendent of Womens Rights National Historical Park, said the location of the home is as significant as the fact that it is an all-women build. Noting that the home is near the historic district, where many of the signers of the Declaration of Sentiments lived at the time of the first women’s rights convention in 1848, she said, “How fitting that we stand here today only a stone’s throw away from the homes of these heroines who led the fight for equality for women.”Marilyn Bero, board member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, said the home is an example of “the collective power of women. They harnessed their strengths and talents to make a better world. We take inspiration from Susan B. Anthony, who said, ‘Failure is Impossible,” and from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who said, “Alone we do so little, together we do so much.”Sinclair, who lives near the project construction site in Seneca Falls, said she has always admired Habitat for Humanity. “It seems to me to be the very epitome of a civilized society to pause and help those to whom circumstances have not been kind, but who refuse defeat. Habitat for Humanity does this in a very human-to-human way by providing a decision point for their commitment to build, not just a house, but a better life for themselves and their children.”Megan Gill, an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s headquarters in Americus, GA, told the volunteers and the Paulk family that the experience will change all of their lives. “It is not about the memories you make here starting today, but those we take from here forward.”Women are needed to help construct the home. Volunteers should check the website at womenbuildsenecafalls@gmail.com or contact Hannah Droppa via email at: hannah.droppa@senecafallssavings.com or call (315) 568-1146 during business hours.About Habitat for Humanity InternationalHabitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat.org.

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