In 2020, SAWS2 celebrated our 10th year as a Women Build team.  Over these 10 years, we have helped build 10 houses in the JOSANA neighborhood of Rochester; more than 75 different women have participated in Women Build as part of our team, and we have raised over $100,900 to support our volunteer building.  In the past few years, SAWS2 has been the top fund-raising and volunteer-providing team for Women Build.

Union Congregational Church has been a solid partner for our team throughout this decade of service.  Members of the congregation have joined us as committed team and Steering Committee members.  The Women’s Fellowship has provided us with meeting space, wonderful refreshments, and warm hospitality on those occasions when our team has gathered.  And, we have received generous financial support through the women’s group and the congregation.  We are touched and humbled that our team has been consistently and generously supported over these 10 years by Union Congregational Church.  We take your support and your faith in our work seriously; we are proud to represent your faith community as we construct these houses. 

As we look back over these past 10 years, we would like you to share our satisfaction and pride in what we have accomplished, as our achievements would not have been possible without you.  To begin, we have made possible home ownership for 10 hard-working families.   The parents have held jobs as school bus drivers, medical office receptionists, health care workers, Walmart employees, restaurant servers, and school district maintenance staff.  They were able to buy their homes at low- or no-interest because we raised funds to build them and provided the labor.  These families are experiencing stability, safety and putting down roots as they have never been able to before and the children reap the benefits in the form of better health, better educational outcomes, and an increased ability to focus on the future.

Beyond the individual families, the JOSANA neighborhood has benefitted from the sustained attention of Flower City Habitat, of which Women Build has been an important part.  Flower City’s work has increased the number of owner-occupied dwellings, which decreases crime and improves the neighborhood’s stability and attractiveness as a place to live.

In a less evident way, our team has provided volunteers with the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.  We welcome any interested woman to our team, with the result that women of all ages and walks of life from all over the greater Rochester area have been able to try construction, and experience the increase in confidence that results.  In the past year alone, SAWS2 work days provided these opportunities:

•A volunteer who worked during a gap year between high school and college in order to explore career interests.

• A mother and her adult autistic daughter who worked for a day so the daughter could try a new experience.

  A young woman working as a restaurant server interested in getting into the construction business.

• Volunteers taking college classes in architecture who wanted to learn more about the building side of the field.

• Newly retired volunteers looking for meaningful ways to contribute to their community while learning new skills.

• Women who have worked with Habitat in other communities who have now moved to Rochester; they joined Women Build to meet new people with shared interests and commitments.

We have translated your support into tangible and not-so-tangible positive results for many people; the ripples have spread far and wide.

As a way for you to see some of these results for yourself, we are offering you a driving tour of JOSANA that includes the 10 houses SAWS2 has helped build, plus the building site for Women Build’s 2021 house.

The map and driving directions are included.(click link below)  If you prefer to have someone drive you on this route, please feel free to email Carol Turkett at or Carolyn Whitfield at    We can arrange a COVID-compliant excursion (limited number of mask-wearing people in the car with a vaccinated driver) that will allow you to see the 11 houses from the car. As a preview, photos of the 11 houses are included. (click link below) Please know that every nail we pound, every piece of wood or siding or insulation we put in place, is an offering of gratitude to you, our supporters, who make this work possible.  We are deeply grateful for your commitment to our community channeled through the construction we do for Women Build.  We are proud to be a part of Union Congregational’s work in the world!