Group of prominent local women pick up hammers and saws for Habitat for Humanity

The following is an article by Warren Kulo
The original can be found here:

OCEAN SPRINGS, Mississippi —¬†Wielding hammers, power saws and nail guns, two groups of prominent local women came together Tuesday to give back to the community.

The women were the first two teams to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s “Women’s Build” — a project which will ultimately result in a new home for a single-parent family in the Gulf Park Estates subdivision in Ocean Springs.

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran and Gautier City Manager Samantha Abell headed up the two teams which kicked off the home build Tuesday morning. The two teams are the first of several local teams of women which will each spend a day working on the home over the next two to three months.

Habitat for Humanity “Women’s Build” A video clip of the scene from Tuesday’s Habitat for Humanity” women’s build in the Gulf Park Estates subdivision in Ocean Springs.

“About 90 percent of the families scheduled to get (Habitat) homes are single-parent families, people who have jobs and good credit, but are in a position where home ownership is beyond their reach,” Moran said.

“This is a way to help them to reach their dream,” Moran continued, adding that Habitat home recipients will in turn help in constructing future Habitat homes for others.

Moran’s team was comprised of Ginny Conn, Becky Feder and her daughter, Elizabeth (Feder) Hosey, Lisa Segarra and Paige Riley.

For Abell’s Gautier team, Darlene Gaubert, Kristy Taylor, Teresa Tanner, Merideth Dickerson, Sherill Edwards, Lynette Myers and Gautier City Councilwoman Mary Martin were on hand to volunteer their time and effort.

“I’m really proud of my team,” Abell said. “They are community leaders, so when I called about this, all they asked was `When should I be there?'”

Myers supported Abell’s statement.

“I just love to give back to the community,” Myers said. “When Sam called, I knew instantly it was something I wanted to do. It sounded like fun and this is such a great group of girls.”

The two team captains have some background in construction. Moran’s grandfather founded Ocean Springs Lumber and her father ran it for many years. Moran recalled helping as a child by picking up nails and other items around the store.

“I’m familiar with all the materials, but I don’t know how to use them,” Moran admitted, laughing.

Abell, meanwhile, first assisted with a Habitat for Humanity build when she was 14 and has been a volunteer for multiple builds for both Habitat and AmeriCorps.

“I’ve been proud to have been involved with both those organizations,” she said.

Local company Team Waste supplied lunch for the women, with Team Waste’s Tim Callahan and Gautier Mayor Gordon Gollott delivering it to the site.

The women were also assisted by three men from Habitat for Humanity, including Construction Site Manger Nolan Corlette.

“They’re doing awesome,” Corlette said of the women. “By the end of the day, we should have all the exterior walls up, so they’re doing great. Everybody’s doing a good job working as a team.”

Corlette said he anticipated construction being complete in 2-3 months, depending on weather and the number of volunteers each day.