Maine first lady Karen Baldacci, North Dakota first lady Mikey Hoeven lead second year of Habitat’s 50-state Women Build initiative
MOORESVILLE, N.C. and AMERICUS, Ga. — Governors, their spouses and other state and local leaders in 11 states will join women volunteers to celebrate Mother’s Day and kick off year two of First Families Building Homes Across America, an initiative of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, which is underwritten by Lowe’s. As part of this two-year initiative, governors’ spouses and other local and statewide leaders raise their hammers alongside Habitat and women volunteers to construct Women Build homes in partnership with families in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia.
“We’re so pleased to have the leadership and enthusiasm of first lady Baldacci and first lady Hoeven helping us address the issues of poverty housing,” said Linda Sultan, director of Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build program. “By getting other first families across the country involved, we can better raise awareness and help make the dream of homeownership come true for families in need across the country.”
Habitat for Humanity launched year one of the First Families initiative last May in Mobile, Ala., and since then 27 First Families houses have been constructed by local and state leaders, Habitat for Humanity women volunteers and Habitat homeowners. All homes built as part of the First Families program are Habitat Women Build homes. Habitat’s Women Build program makes homeownership a reality for families in need by training women volunteers to construct simple, decent and affordable homes, allowing women from all walks of life to help families build better futures for children. To date, more than 800 Habitat homes have been built by women crews.
As 2007 co-chairs of the First Families program, first ladies Karen Baldacci (Maine) and Mikey Hoeven (North Dakota) will lead the effort to involve statewide and local leaders in the 25 additional First Families homes to be built this year.
“We’ve received tremendous support for this program over the last year,” said Maine first lady Karen Baldacci, who helped kick off the program last May in Mobile, Ala. “The First Families initiative helps address the need for safe, affordable housing and I am pleased to be part of a program that empowers women volunteers to help build better communities.”
“I’m honored to work with Mrs. Baldacci to kick off the second year of this important program and encourage women volunteers to construct homes with Habitat families across America,” added North Dakota first lady Mikey Hoeven. “We hope the First Families program will continue to inspire women volunteers to work with Habitat’s Women Build program to help create affordable housing in their communities.”
Habitat’s Women Build program gives women the opportunity to learn construction skills and to use these skills to help move families out of poverty. In addition to underwriting the Women Build program, Lowe’s provides construction expertise through in-store “How-To” clinics and with their employee volunteers on build sites. Further information is available at Lowes.com/Habitat .
“Habitat’s Women Build program takes families out of poverty housing and into environments where their children can grow and succeed,” noted Larry D. Stone, chairman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “Lowe’s finds the greatest support we can offer Women Build is by sharing our knowledge with women volunteers in stores and on build sites in the communities we serve.”
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat 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 Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit habitat.org .
Lowe’s is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, United Way of America, and the Home Safety Council, in addition to numerous nonprofit organizations and programs that help communities across the country. In 2006, the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation awarded $15 million to diverse organizations across the United States. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes program, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Lowe’s is a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2006 sales of $46.9 billion and has more than 1,375 stores in 49 states. For more information, visit Lowes.com/community .