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Putting our hearts together


Habitat homeowner Dematia Watson, left, poses with Julie Edelman, author of The Accidental Housewife, next to the frame of Watson’s new house.

National Women Build Week: Paterson, New Jersey

On a warm and sunny May 4 in Paterson, New Jersey, Julie Edelman—a New York Times best-selling author—joined Paterson Habitat for Humanity to celebrate National Women Build Week. Edelman helped pound nails with future Habitat homeowner Dematia Watson, at the site of Watson’s future home.

Watson is a mother of two children, daughter De Jayla and son James. James had enjoyed a rising athletic career in high school, and had hoped to play collegiate sports, until an accident paralyzed him. In the planning of her future Habitat home, Watson took an active role ensuring that the dimensions of the hallways and bathroom would accommodate James’ wheelchair.

Both mothers of teenage boys, Edelman and Watson connected over motherhood and the importance of home. Edelman looks forward to bringing her own son to the build site after he turns 16 this coming Mother’s Day.

Edelman herself returned to Watson’s future home the next day, May 5, to promote National Women Build Week to the national media. Edelman effortlessly spoke to countless radio and television programs by satellite throughout the morning, sharing her enthusiasm for Habitat and Women Build.

In her trademark pink gloves, she highlighted how Women Build and Habitat for Humanity are addressing the need for affordable housing: “Home is where the heart is,” Edelman said. “And this initiative is about all of us putting our hearts together to build better homes and better lives.”

Lisa Marie Nickerson is the associate director of Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build program. She traveled to Paterson, New Jersey, to join in the National Women Build Week events taking place there.

For more information on Paterson Habitat, visit