Starting a new school year in a new home: Women build something bigger than the sum of its parts for a family in need

More than just a new house, this is a home.

More than just a new house, this is a home.

There’s no place like a Habitat for Humanity home – and the women who helped build one recently can tell you some things about the construction materials they brought to the effort: camaraderie, a drive to help the community and getting hard work done with a focus on safety.

Rosie the Riveter would fit right in with these TECO team members and so would Candice Cowen, the new homeowner and mother of four who worked alongside her new friends at TECO and Habitat for Humanity. From a dilapidated rental property with asbestos issues in a crime-affected part of Tampa to a new home in a new neighborhood – an ideal way for her children to start the new school year – Cowen’s story is both unique and emblematic of countless other Habitat for Humanity success stories.

It’s a story that TECO team members are proud to be able to tell again.

“The combination of watching a house rise from its foundation and then seeing the magic of that moment, when everything was done, on the faces of the Cowen family is just another reminder that TECO backs up its words about wanting to create stronger communities with real action,” said Shelly Whitworth, manager with TECO’s Renewable Energy department. “And action doesn’t get much more powerful than when it’s helping create a new home, and everything that comes with it, for a family in need.”

The Women Build program encourages female volunteers to join forces on teams to raise money for a new home’s construction in addition to helping build the actual house itself. Whitworth was one of four Women Build team captains who participated in the effort – those teams being the Power Princesses, The Transformers, Empowered and Team Energizers. Earlier this year, over several weekends of hard (but safe) work in the sun, the TECO teams, Candice Cowen and others built a home for the Cowen family.

“Once again, Habitat for Humanity showed how important it is for doing things that no other organization can do,” said Forecasting & Scheduling Analyst Janice Bryant, another team captain. “TECO has built such a strong connection with Habitat for Humanity that it will be great to see what comes next.”

TECO’s community commitment provides a framework – both literal and figurative – to help people. It opens the doors for good things to happen, and it’s a window into the spirit of togetherness that makes Tampa Bay a great place to live. It’s an effort that can use your handiwork, since Habitat for Humanity welcomes volunteers. So consider giving it try and you might just see us there too. The results of what we can do as a team will floor you.

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One Response to Starting a new school year in a new home: Women build something bigger than the sum of its parts for a family in need

  1. Great story! Great job! Great teamwork!

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