Celebrating Women Build

Monica came every day. For all 12 days of Women Build, Monica came to site and met with the volunteers who were helping her build her home. Most days, she joined them building for hours before leaving to work a night shift at Royal House. Some days, her fiancé and her children would come to site to see the progress of their future home. For months, Monica had been driving by the site, taking in the lot that would one day be her “forever home.” Finally, on May 11, it started to come to life.

By the end of the first weekend, it was framed and sheathed. By the end of the second, it was sided and painted. By the end of the third, the floors and cabinets were in. By the end of the last week, the home was complete, with a freshly landscaped yard and appliances installed. Through it all, Monica worked hard, putting in extra hours long after her sweat equity requirements were done. Over only four weekends, her home went from a bare subfloor to a beautiful 3-bedroom house. Working alongside Monica were 20 teams of women (and a few tireless individual volunteers!) who came together for NOAHH’s first annual Women Build, an all-woman blitz build, for women, by women. Inspired by the long history of women supporting–leadingfounding, dedicating their lives to–our mission of affordable housing in New Orleans, NOAHH recruited women from all backgrounds as a commemoration of their contributions over the last 34 years and as a recognition of the unique challenges women face in finding stable, healthy housing in our city.

As such, Women Build was as much a celebration as a build. We celebrated over three decades of women building houses and communities with our affiliate, and to cap it off, we celebrated Monica’s achievement. She worked well over her required hours of sweat equity on the build site, in the ReStore, and on her own home. She did this while working a full-time job and raising her children, and her home dedication was the culmination of a whole year (or more) of hard work on her part. On a rainy morning at the end of Women Build, the volunteers who made it possible, the sponsors and donors, members of NOAHH’s board, staff and partner families, friends of the affiliate, and Monica’s family came together to honor the dedication of the home we all had come together to build. Music, food, and confetti mingled with words of praise, reflection, and gratitude as a whole community gathered to celebrate this moment in Monica’s life.

NOAHH would like to thank all of the women who made this possible:

Our teams and their leaders who organized over 300 women to help us build:

With special shout out to the men of Marriott International, Fidelity Bank, and Woodward Design+Build for serving lunches and supporting Women Build.

Our friends and partners who provided Surprise and Delight throughout the build:

  • Athleta
  • Big Freedia
  • Dave & Buster’s
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Fidelity Bank
  • Five Happiness
  • Glitterbox
  • Iberia Bank
  • Imperial Woodpecker Snoballs
  • Juan’s Flying Burrito
  • Lululemon
  • Marriott International
  • Microsoft
  • Nola.com/Times-Picayune
  • Dr. Patti Faris
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Salire Fitness and Wellness
  • Sammy’s Food Service
  • Sarah’s Pet Care Revolution (and their golden retriever Sunny!)
  • Scrubs-N-Luv
  • Trinity Loaves and Fishes
  • Willa Jean
  • Zea’s Rotisserie Grill

And thanks to Foley Marketing and Eddie’s Ace Hardware for their above-and-beyond support!

Our construction staff and AmeriCorps members:

  • Alyson Harding, Construction Site Supervisor
  • Megan Webb, Construction Site Supervisor
  • Mary Toney, AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Colleen Gately, AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Amanda Smith, ABWK Project Manager
  • Tori Stendeback, AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Christina Cerutti, AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader

The individual volunteers and partner families who joined us on site, and most of all, we thank Monica for her inspiring commitment and courage.

Thank you all.