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“Ready, Set, Build” in Paterson

National Women Build Week: Paterson, N.J.




Paterson Habitat for Humanity celebrates a successful National Women Build project.


I have been involved with the Women Build project since 2008 and witnessed so many wonderful, energetic and generous women who come out to build with such pride for the work they are doing.

We are all in awe of the final finished product ― a beautiful house for a deserving family that will turn it into their own home.

On May 4, 2011, a rather rainy and dismal Wednesday morning, I took a step back and watched as, one by one, 25 dedicated women came to report for duty.

Among these women was Julie “The Accidental Housewife” Edelman. She was the National spokesperson for the Women Build project of 2010 and spearheaded the building of our fifth WB project. She is back to again to “spread the glove” for the sixth Paterson Habitat Women Build house.

As fate would have it, Pam McBride, who designed, helped finance and build our first two Women Build houses, was here, too. These two women had never met before, but had been in touch as it just so happened that Pam won “An evening with Julie” at our Twenty-fifth Anniversary Gala auction. They quickly became fast friends and were excited at the prospect of their night out.

As I continued to observe the ladies throughout the day—never complaining but every once in a while shouting something like “there goes my nail” amidst a roar of laughter, or a couple of ladies taking a little break, hard hat and gloves in hand comparing calluses with pride—I would think to myself, “Who would have ever thought that these ladies with little time on their hands would be so selfless, committed and eager to return to see the job through?”

We are truly blessed. I am blessed and humbled to see the kindness and generosity of these people every day. I can’t wait for them to meet the future homeowners.

Gina F. Damiano is the resource development manager for Paterson Habitat for Humanity. To learn more about Paterson HFH, visit