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Mother and daughter use construction skills to help families in Detroit

Photo: Michael A. Schwarz

Mother and daughter Mary Lucas and Jamie Erbes used their construction skills to help families in need this week at the JCWP 2005 in Detroit.

Mary Lucas from Grand Rapids, Mich., has built houses with families in need for the past three years as part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project. Although this is Mary’s third JCWP, it marks a first for her in another way: the first time she and her daughter, Jamie Erbes, have participated in a Habitat for Humanity build together.

Mary and Jamie bring considerable construction experience to the Jimmy Carter Work Project, having worked together building wheelchair ramps and teaching home repair skills to low-income families through a local organization. “It’s a waste if you don’t use the experience and talents that God gives you to help your community and the world,” says Mary. “I get so much out of it. It blesses me more than it does the family partners.”

Jamie is studying construction management at Ferris State University and plans to work as a project manager for a construction company upon graduation. She says that she has enjoyed using her construction skills this week and that working with her mom has been a great experience. “It’s fun to be able to use our talents together,” she says, “and to see all the things she can do that I might not see otherwise.”

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