Women Roll Up Their Sleeves


September 25th, a day of prosperity and assistance, will be remembered in Peoria. A total of 9 separate construction projects took place during the “Rebuilding Together Day”. One project, the “She Build” project, stood out the most. A group of local women laced up their boots and went to work. These women worked on rebuilding and inspecting a local home on Peoria’s McClure Avenue.

Rebuilding Together and The Union Sisters of Central Illinois teamed up to create an all women’s team. Rebuilding Together has existed in the Central Illinois area for about 27 years, but this She Build team was the first of its kind in the area. Jennifer Frank, team leader of She Build, stated, “We try to make it safer for them to stay in their homes longer.” The main priority of this project is to help the community and sustain it.

Community is where the heart and soul thrives. The women of this project can feel like they have made an impact in their community. Frank stated, “It’s mentally gratifying, and being able to give back makes your soul feel whole.” The women of this project all come from different areas of trade. “The fact that all of us getting together in one day and being able to work side-by-side is extremely empowering,” Frank said. The idea of possibly building more She Build teams in the area is also in the midst.

Frank also said this project has brought her and her sisters together as a team. Being able to get all these women together and take over a dominantly male field, was the most empowering. Frank says a challenge within this project is not knowing all the crafts. She stated, “relying on my sister’s talents is a big part of this project.”

Frank says many positive aspects have stemmed from this project. The recognition the She Build team has received has led to them connecting with other local organizations. The She Build team will be working on a new project as soon as December. Not only that, but Frank also says she has been thrilled about the recognition her team has received. Specifically, “being on the news and having the highlight of that,” has been one of the best parts. Also having a young woman like myself reach out to her was very exciting for her and her team.

When asked if she had any advice for young girls Frank stated, “YOU CAN DO IT!” Frank did not start off in her trade of insulation, but she soon became incredibly proficient in it. Frank wants Richwoods High School to know, “whatever your career path is, just keep an open mind,” and also, “just try and challenge yourself.”

A sincere thank you to Jennifer Frank for all her kind words and consideration.