Nearly 25 years ago my mom worked for the local Habitat for Humanity office in Charlotte. Mom (Darlene Jonas to her friends!) worked for Susan Hancock and alongside Mary Nell McPherson and a few other dreamers who believed everyone in Charlotte should have a decent place to live.
One evening at a community Habitat event they happened to sit together at a table made up of all women.
Mom and Susan and a few others got to thinking…what if we put together a local home built entirely by women? What if we could inspire women from all walks of life and from all the building trades to come together to volunteer to create a home built entirely by women?
Of course most folks in town initially thought they were crazy.
Now, more than 1,500 homes later, the Habitat for Humanity Women Build program has a global reach, with affiliates creating Women Build homes in Malawi, South Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hungary, Romania and more than 25 other countries around the world.
The idea for a Habitat Women Build all started in Charlotte back in 1991 from the spark of an idea from a few daring women. Our local Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte started a movement which is putting love into action – bringing people together to build homes and transform lives.
Laura Belcher leads Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte today, and through her leadership and the commitment of Habitat’s remarkable staff and volunteers, our local Habitat affiliate is one of the most active Habitat chapters in the country. I was able to bring Laura and mom (Ok, Darlene!) together for a lunch recently, and it was a delight to be a fly on the wall and see the connection and shared belief in what people can do together to serve others.
At Care Ring we are in the business of helping folks in Charlotte establish and maintain good health. But being healthy is more than just dispelling disease. It is much more than eating right and exercising more.
Good health comes from many things – including having good housing and a supportive community. We are fortunate to have such a fine community partner like Laura and her team at Habitat for Humanity working along side our team at Care Ring to help folks improve their lives.
And I’m so proud to have such a wonderful Mom who inspires me every day.