Bell Family Dedication Brings Together NOAHH Partners

Bringing together the Advil Relief Team, volunteers from the New Orleans Mission, Havilah Malone and some crew from her show, NOAHH staff, and the friends and family of Alisha Bell, the home dedication in New Orleans East on Wednesday, July 30, was the culmination of Ms. Bell’s time in the Habitat program and a confluence of disparate but dedicated partnerships. Ms. Bell grew up in the St. Thomas Project and dreamed her whole life of homeownership. She joined the NOAHH program to give her daughter a backyard to play in safely and the comfort and security that comes with owning one’s own home, and on Wednesday, various partners of NOAHH paid witness to the fruition of that dream.

The Advil Relief Team has been joining NOAHH on site all week, bringing refreshments and support to NOAHH’s volunteers. They joined the home dedication and presented Ms. Bell with gifts for her new home, and also joined in the dedication ceremony. The volunteers from the New Orleans Mission had spent the day working hard on NOAHH worksites, focusing on foundation and lawn work, and joined the dedication ceremony as well, gladly taking the opportunity to share in Ms. Bell’s moment of joy. Havilah Malone, host of local radio and television programs, also came out to see the NOAHH program in action as part of her show on Saturday. With the friends and family of Ms. Bell and the NOAHH staff present, it was a rare and appropriate coming together of the many aspects of the NOAHH program and community partnerships that make everything possible. Sponsors and supporters like Advil help not just by supplying resources to build homes, but also by giving that lagniappe that makes volunteering with NOAHH special. Volunteers, like those from the Mission, are integral to the Habitat program, literally building the homes alongside our partner families. And support from locals like Havilah Malone and her programs spreads awareness of, and thus raises support for, the NOAHH program.

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Ms. Bell accepted the traditional dedication gifts, presented by those who have made hers and other homes possible, and spoke briefly to the gathered crowd, thanking them before letting them tour the home.

“I am very hopeful for my future in this house with my daughter,” she said. “She can play in the yard with no problems and we can have parties with the family. I am just very thankful for many things I can do with my house.”