Family cuts ribbon on Habitat home

Maleka Beard, center, is joined by Habitat for Humanity staff and supporters as she cuts the ribbon on her new home in northeast Elkhart on Monday.

ELKHART — Before receiving the keys to her new home, Maleka Beard thanked everyone who helped make the moment possible.

That included volunteers like the Dometic employees who assembled the wall panels in August, the Bethany Christian Schools students who put them up during the cold months and the people who helped paint the Naples Court home in just two days.

“I could not have done that without you guys, and I love you and I appreciate you for it,” she said during the ceremony Monday.

She also thanked the Elkhart County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity for picking her and her family to participate in the program.

“Many applied and few were selected, and I’m blessed to be one that was chosen,” she said just before receiving the keys and then cutting the ribbon on the front porch. “And I feel very blessed and I’m very thankful to Habitat for selecting me to be a partner family.”

Beard, who is the head secretary at Roosevelt Elementary School, shares the home with sons Malik, 12, and Malikhi, 1. She looks forward to teaching them how to help out around the house with chores like taking out the trash and mowing the lawn, and hopes to be able to pass the home down to one of them one day.

It was the first home dedication for Greg Conrad, who recently joined Habitat as executive director. He told Beard he hopes the home can be a place of peace and joy for the family.

“It is wonderful to have people gathered together at a moment like this, a lot of people have brought us to this point,” he said. “There are board members here, there’s community members, there’s friends, there’s family, there’s volunteers – this is just a great gathering and a sample of what Habitat is all about: Bringing people together to build homes, to bring a vision, to bring hope and to build our community.”

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