LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, located on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, and Lowe’s Home Improvement Store are partnering up to raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women during International Women Build Week (March 8-15).

On International Women’s Day, March 8, Habitat and Lowe’s worked on one of more than 300 Women Build projects supporting women-led households across the United States, Canada, and India to drive awareness and address the need. When completed, this will be Patuxent Habitat for Humanity’s 21st new home built.

Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to job loss. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80% of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the front-lines of the pandemic as essential workers and as caretakers within many households. Many have had to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for essentials.

The homeowner sponsored by Patuxent Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s Build this year is Erica Toye. Toye is a single mom to six-year-old Jevon, a kindergartener. She is an essential employee working at the Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home as one of the many caretakers. She said, “Education is essential in my household, and I will continue to pursue my business management degree.”

WM Davis employee assisted by Habitat volunteer Sharon Flores.

She is thankful to Patuxent Habitat for Humanity for making one of her biggest dreams come true. She continued saying, “My enjoyment in my life is my son.” Her son, Jevon, said that he is, “looking forward to being in a loving home that we can call our own with a yard to play in and make memories with family and friends.”

Toye’s story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without adequate, stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of the efforts the partnership makes to bring awareness to the issues as they come together, focusing on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.

Erica Toye, the new homeowner, installing insulation

Lowe’s Home Improvement and Habitat for Humanity’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have helped build or repair nearly 6,000 houses.

Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build Program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Lowe’s support of Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.

To learn more or to join the conversation, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.

About Patuxent Habitat for Humanity

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and works to create decent, affordable housing in partnership with those in need in St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties. They are building strength, stability, and independence by building on a foundation that strengthens the community. Patuxent Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located at 21600 Great Mills Road Unit 18A in Lexington Park, Maryland.

For more information on how to make a monetary donation to the Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, or to donate items to the ReStore, please visit their website at www.patuxenthabitat.org

If you would like to volunteer with Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, contact Laurie at laurie@patuxenthabitat.org or call 301-863-6227. Every donation helps a family.