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Executive Branch Spouses to Dedicate Habitat for Humanity Houses As Part of "Women Building A Legacy"

Executive Branch Spouses to Dedicate Habitat for Humanity Houses As Part of “Women Building A Legacy”

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2003–Today spouses of White House senior staff members and Cabinet-level officials, including Alma Powell and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, dedicated houses they helped build in Annapolis, Md., as part of Habitat for Humanity International’s “Women Building A Legacy” program. The spouses joined Arundel Habitat for Humanity and the two mothers whose families will live in the Habitat homes for the dedication.

“I’m happy to be among the volunteers answering the President’s USA Freedom Corps call to service,” said Alma Powell, wife of Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell. “Habitat for Humanity’s Women Building A Legacy program offers women the opportunity to take an active role in the important work of providing healthy homes for children by addressing the need for affordable housing in America’s communities.”

Habitat for Humanity invites people of all backgrounds, races and faiths to build homes in partnership with families in need. Habitat for Humanity’s Women Building A Legacy program empowers women from all walks of life to actively address the problem of children in poverty housing.

“Women Building A Legacy gives women the opportunity to learn construction in a supportive environment, enabling us to build a legacy of better housing for our nation’s children and a legacy of volunteer service for our own children,” said Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, wife of CIA Director George Tenet. “I encourage more community-minded individuals, businesses and houses of worship to join this effort.”

Single women heads of household build more than 60 percent of Habitat for Humanity homes in the United States. Julia Cowell and Sylvie Bazan, the Women Building A Legacy homeowners in Annapolis, are single mothers who look forward to moving their children into brand-new Habitat houses. Cowell’s small substandard apartment, where she lives with her 11-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, is so cramped that she must share a bed with her daughter. Her soon-to-be next-door neighbor, Bazan, will be leaving behind a leaky, dilapidated trailer when her Habitat house is completed. Eager to have a home of their own, Bazan’s 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter began packing boxes for the move before their home’s foundation had even been poured.

“To be honest, I am excited and ready,” said Sylvie Bazan about moving into her new Habitat house. “I have learned a lot about building houses and I have great respect for the volunteers who came out to help every week. I am thankful there is a program like Habitat for Humanity to help families like mine–I feel blessed to have been accepted.”

Royal Neighbors of America is the Women Building A Legacy national program sponsor. General Motors, along with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as leaders of the Homeownership Alliance, are the house sponsors for the two Annapolis homes. The third house to be dedicated was sponsored by a group of Annapolis-area banks.

“Women Building A Legacy gives women the opportunity to learn construction in a supportive environment, enabling us to build a legacy of better housing for our nation’s children and a legacy of volunteer service for our own children,” said Fiona Eastwood, director of Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build program. “The Habitat homeowners here and the volunteers should be an inspiration to us all and that by working together we can build stronger communities.”

For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, log on to our web site at http://www.habitat.org/. Visit the new Women Build web site www.womenbuild.com to locate an upcoming Women Building A Legacy project or to make a donation.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.