The following is an article by Bryan Kennedy for WXXV.
The original can be found here:
This morning a group of Coast businesswomen traded their heels for work boots to begin building one of the Coast’s newest Habitat for Humanity homes. The Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build brought women from Gulfport to Pascagoula into Ocean Springs. When the dust finally cleared, News 25’s Bryan Kennedy caught up with a few women getting their hands dirty for their community.
On a typical day, you’d see Paige Riley running Hillyer House Arts Gift Gallery in downtown Ocean Springs. Today she’s helping construct the front door to a new home. This new home could open even more doors for a woman just like her. “I’m so grateful to be a part of this,” said Riley, “I am a single mother and my mom was a single mother. I hope I’m helping another mom get a good foot on the ground.”
Today’s Women’s Build attracted prominent women, like Mayor Connie Moran of Ocean Springs and Gautier City Manager Samantha Abell, to get their hands dirty and hammer out a new home. They tell News 25 they don’t know who will eventually receive this house but 90 percent of homes like these go to single mothers, women that often have a touching story. “It’s always been a very inspiring story. It’s a hard-working mom who gives back to her community and her and her family deserves a home. So, we’re pretty excited because standing here in front of you we don’t know but we know it’s someone that deserves a home,” said Abell.
Whether it’s hammering or nailing, today’s build is getting women you’d usually see in an office outside and literally helping build their community. “These are women you’d usually see managing insurance companies and banks and preschools,” said Abell, “So management is nothing to them. You’re looking at a bunch of alpha females out here and we’re having a really good time.”
While the women enjoyed giving back to their community through manual labor, their work isn’t done. In the following days, they’ll have fundraisers on their Facebook to give back monetarily. “That’s what they use to buy the materials to keep it ongoing and building homes for deserving families. We’re all raising money for Habitat and of course we’re putting in a little sweat equity, too,” said Moran.
City officials say the house should be done by the end of the year.