Women lead way in building home for a deserving veteran in New Jersey

WESTWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A house that is being almost entirely built by women will go to a deserving veteran.

Five months from now, Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County will have one last thing to do at a home on Sand Road in Westwood, New Jersey, and that is to hoist the ribbon for the cutting.

Congressman Josh Gottheimer was invited to do a little heavy lifting Monday, but just a little, because the work was being done by the ladies.

Dozens have been working on the home as a part of Habitat's Women Build Week.

"The power tools, I have to tell you, it really does empower a woman, it's absolutely fantastic," said Terri Capparelli, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County. "We don't worry about hair, we're excited to be together."

One home will go to a veteran.

"Believe it or not, one-and-a-half million vets in our country spend more than 50% of what they make on housing, either for their mortgage or their rent, and that's unacceptable," Gottheimer said.

The women say it has made their sweat-filled hours that much more meaningful.

Anita DaSilva, the vice president of the Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County, said it's the camaraderie of being with other women.

"When we do the ribbon-cutting for this house, and we give it to that veteran family, to know that I hung sheetrock in the hallway, that I helped build the kitchen, that's empowerment," DaSilva said.

Each of the women left their names in a home that will be a foundation for a family.

"Just a remembrance of what they did here, that they're actually changing someone's life forever," board president Roxanne Camejo said.

The organization is still in the selection process and looking for a veteran family that qualifies.

By October, the house will be ready for a family to call home.

Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County says they would love to hear from anyone who knows a veteran who should call this place home.

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