Handbags needed for Habitat womens’ build


By Anne Marie Amacher

Kathy Anderson, assistant to the president at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and board member of Habitat for Humanity, stands with Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose, during a Habitat build.

Handbags and Hardhats is the theme of a Women Build Week for Habitat for Humanity in the Quad-Cities next month. In preparation for the event, Habitat is collecting purses through the month of April at two locations, one in Bettendorf and one in Davenport.
At the start of each shift during the house-building event in May, each volunteer will choose a purse from the collection, said Kristi Crafton, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities. “Inside the purse will be a story about one of our partner families, our brochure, a coupon for Habitat ReStore and whatever else I can think of to put in there.”
The volunteer may choose to keep or donate the purse to Winnie’s Wishes. That organization supports Churches United of the Quad City Area’s resale shop that benefits its domestic violence shelter. Any extra purses also will be donated to Winnie’s Wishes.
The local Habitat organization received a $5,000 Lowes grant for this project. “We were awarded that to do a one-day project, but because we immediately had so much interest, we made it a three-day project,” Crafton said. All of the volunteers will be women. “We will have about five of our volunteer construction supervisors (men) there to teach and supervise.”
Kathy Anderson, a board member who works at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, said National Women Build Week “is a great opportunity for women to get involved with Habitat and to learn about our unique mission. The women will use a hammer as a tool for building homes. But they will quickly learn that it is really a symbol that people agree on the idea of building homes for families in need of affordable housing. That is what Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat, called ‘the theology of the hammer.’”
Purses can be dropped off at the Habitat for Humanity office at 2235 Grant St. in Bettendorf or at the Habitat ReStore at 3629 Mississippi Ave., Davenport, behind Dahl Ford.
The house-building project will be held May 8, 10 and 12 at 6604 Hoover Road, Davenport. Women interested in working at the event must pre-register by calling (563) 359-9066. Participants may serve one shift. Groups are limited to five members.

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