Women pour sweat equity into Habitat house
    September 24 2008 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    Get. In. There.

    Rather than whacking the nail and risk marring the floor joist, first time home builder Cheryl Daniel of Shiloh Baptist Church in Garner tried to cajole it into place. By the end of the day Daniel and the other 20 women building a house in partnership with Woman's Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC) and the Goldsboro chapter of Habitat for Humanity spoke more with the business end of their hammers and less with nice manners.

    "I'm doing it because I like to be where God is working miracles," said Jean Quick of Dunn. "God always accomplishes the most with the least."

    WMU-NC sponsored and manned the Habitat build in part "to show that WMU is 'hands on,'" said WMU-NC Executive Director Ruby Fulbright. "That's important for younger ladies."

    The house that ladies built is the 31st Habitat house built by the Goldsboro chapter, which was started by Bill and Jan Edgerton of First Baptist Church, Goldsboro. After Bill retired from Sprint and Jan retired from teaching, they wanted to be involved in Christian related service.

    With a contractor's license, Bill enjoyed building homes. They volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and discovered there was no affiliate in Goldsboro. They led in organizing a chapter in November 2001.

    "As a Christian, if you see a need and can do something about it, you need to do something about it," Bill Edgerton said. Today others lead the chapter that has built 31 houses and utilizes volunteers from across the country.

    One youth group from Dover, Del., has come seven years in a row. Senior adult Campers on Mission builds for two weeks each summer.

    North Carolina Governor Mike Easley recognized the Edgertons in 2007 among his "Volunteers of the Year."

    Margaret Harding, who recruited volunteers for the build in Goldsboro, was "pleasantly surprised" at the response. To keep the work crew of a manageable size, she had to turn away volunteers. She already is planning a similar build — or two — somewhere for 2009.

    Moving the work site helps women get involved locally, and Fulbright said, "That's what we're good at; educating women so they can do it in their area."

    Because pride of ownership is such a significant part of Habitat's mission, future owners of the house under construction are required to put in 300 hours of work themselves. Nadjia Mekaoui was present at this site, building with Baptist women from across North Carolina, the home she would occupy with her husband and five children.

    As a Muslim she was covered head to toe, her scarf and robes soaked through in the hot sun. But her smile radiated sheer joy in being about the work with women who loved her enough to help.

    9/24/2008 10:25:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Habitat for Humanity, WMU

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