|FORMER NOAH LEADER RECEIVES POSTHUMOUS HONOR
Pastor John B. Brown, the executive director who ushered NOAH into the affordable housing business, was posthumously awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award during a Jan. 31 breakfast honoring Dr. King.
Brown, who died on June 3, was well known for his efforts through more than a decade to rehabilitate and develop low-income housing in the Glades. He and Freddie Stebbins Jefferson, a retired school teacher and Palm Beach Post columnist were both honored posthumously by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coordinating Committee based in West Palm Beach.
Brown was born Aug. 28, 1947 in Albany, New York and his family moved to Belle Glade when he was still a child. He grew up in Belle Glade walking through the tall grasses to Lake Shore Elementary School and working in the fields during the summers. He graduated from local public schools and later attended Florida A&M University in Tallahassee and graduated from Miles College in Birmingham, AL.
He was the founder, pastor and teacher of In Time Church of God In Christ in West Palm Beach where he served until his passing. He was most recently employed as head of The Business Loan Fund of the Palm Beaches, Inc. He was a member and active participant in social and civic organizations, including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
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|THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING ZORA
If you want to know if NOAH employees care about their work, ask Wanda Adderley who says, emphatically, "They do."
And she knows because of how closely they watched her daughter. Zora Sarai Emilius is Adderley's 5-month-old daughter, who was being monitored by NOAH before she was even born.
Adderley is a client of NOAH's Healthy Start/Care Coordination program, which provides in-home services to families in need of intensive services to promote healthy birth and developmental outcomes. The program, supported by the Children's Services Council, includes comprehensive education and support services to families in Belle Glade, South-Bay and Pahokee. Interventions and goals are developed with families to cope with daily problems, break cycles of poverty, and lead to family self-sufficiency. The program worked for Adderley.
"When I was pregnant, Miss Brown (a NOAH employee) would come by and check in on me and ask me about my doctor visits and how the baby was growing, my due date and things like that," Adderley said. "She would ask me questions making sure I'm OK physically and emotionally and financially. And even after the baby was born, she came by and checked on the baby periodically. She was a big help.
"She would ask about my son (4-year-old Wieman Emilius Jr.) and if he was OK and how he's doing in school. And when I told her I was ready to go back to work and to school she helped me find day care," she said.
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|DONORS HELP LIFT HOLIDAY SPIRIT
Hundreds of children served by NOAH agencies and programs had their holiday spirits lifted thanks to the generosity of donors that was so overwhelming, the gifts will be able to extend beyond the holiday season.
Florida Club Managers Association of America out of Boca West Country Club donated $5,000 in Toys R Us vouchers.
"The real big thing about that one is that we were able to go in and purchase items that families really needed that go beyond Christmas, such as Pampers, formula, wipes, under-shirts, clothing and things like that," said Gladys Givens-Barber, NOAH's director of family services. "We got enough to basically
serve all of the families - especially in the child care areas. We are
holding some for emergencies so NOAH's Care Coordinators can have them and
use them later in the year. These can be used for the classrooms and in home
visits as well. We were just so pleased."
The Managers Association also donated to NOAH last year, but it was anonymously through its partnership with Toshiba Business Solutions, which also donated toward the holiday season this year and last.
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|BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Dorothy Gilbert
Title: Founding member of NOAH. She is the only founder who remains an active member of The Board of Directors.
Personal: Married to Tommie Gilbert Sr. She grew up in West Palm Beach and moved to Belle Glade in 1954 to teach elementary school. She also coordinated adult education. She taught for 30 years before retiring in 1984.
How I became involved with NOAH: "A group of us got together — four of us — and we felt as if we needed some affordable homes in the area. That's how it got started." The other three were Sister Patricia Downs, Elizabeth Farrar and Larry Schwandes.
The best thing about working with NOAH is: "The growth. We saw a need to improve the community and it is happening. It is very rewarding."
I am most proud of: "The workers we have. They really want things to improve. They're hard workers and Mr. (Thomas) Roberts is a good director."
My vision for NOAH: "To include development of the whole family — the parents, the children, the fathers of the children. And we need more homes. We are working hard, but we still need more."
Honors: "Oh I've got lots of honors, you should see my wall. I've got over 100 things in my house."
Here's one not in her house: "They named a street after me, but it was before I was married. It feels good because they gave it to me so I could enjoy it while I'm still alive." Dorothy G. Wilford Circle is on the south end of the Winn Dixie in Belle Glade.
She also was selected as one of the great women of the 21st Century and her biography has been published by the Biographical Institute, the Imperial Court History Book and the 'Almighty Banyan' published by Palm Beach Junior College (now Palm Beach Community College).
Affiliations: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (past basilus and member); Charter member and past basilus of the West Palm Beach Chapter of ETA PHI BETA; Building Blocks Board of Directors; Past Illustrious Commandress of Masud Court No. 71, Daughters of Isaac (Imperial Co-director of Tools for Schools for the Imperial Court); Member of Haitian Catholic Center Food Giveaway; Past president of the C.L. Brumback Health Center; Past Area 3 Regional Directress, Past Imperial Deputy of the Desert of Florida Daughters of Isaac; Past Worthy Matron of the Sisters of the Sons of Light No. 212 Order of Eastern Star; Past president of Healthy Solutions (formerly Western Community Mental Health Facility); Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Golden Girl (for seniors); Black Gold Jubilee Committee; Past member of the board of directors of We Care and P.E.P.P.I. Head Start programs; Research Board of Advisors for the Biographical Institute
Quote: "When I was a little girl, my daddy told me to be somebody and he said 'Don't let the big fish eat up the little fish.' From there, I thought about it and after he told me that, I said I'm going to join these organizations and I'm not going to let the big fish eat up the little fish."
|STAFF NEWS AND NOTES
After 11 years of service at Building Blocks Infant and Family Development Center in Belle Glade, Tammie Banks-Jackson has left her position as administrative assistant. But she won't veer far from the mission she served at NOAH because she will be working more with her nephew's organization, the Anquan Boldin Foundation, whose familiar mission is: "To expand the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children."
Tammie serves on the Board of Directors of the Pahokee-based foundation. Many people in the Glades are familiar with Boldin who was a graduate of Pahokee High School where he was a star quarterback who went on to become a star receiver at Florida State University and now is a Pro Bowl receiver for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. He has been a generous donor in the Glades and Arizona. In addition to helping more with the Foundation, Tammie also plans to do more administrative work with her church and choir.
Tammie will be missed around NOAH offices, but filling her shoes is Michelle Hall who jumped right in at the beginning of the year, starting Jan. 2, to become the new administrative assistant for Building Blocks.
Other new hires at NOAH, Inc. include Barbara A. Williams who joined the Farrar Center as a cook on May 21.
Sharonda Lang-Crawford was hired June 25 as a Family Assessment Worker filling a newly funded position in the Farrar Center's Healthy Families program.
Priscilla Sanchez was hired Aug. 28 as a Recruiter — Home visitor for the Parenting/Mentoring program.
Building Blocks also has a new teacher assistant, Odalys P. Portal, who joined the staff on Dec. 7.
NOAH Development Corp. brought on five new maintenance men since March of last year when Herman Fordham began work at Doveland Villas in Pahokee.
Ira. D. Adams joined the maintenance department on June 12, replacing Eddie Brown at Glades Pioneer Terrace in Belle Glade. Brown retired from the department after an extended illness and staff members hope he returns to health soon.
Hiawatha L. Thomas joined the maintenance staff on Sept. 4 and is working at Amaryllis Gardens in Pahokee.
Gregory L. Coleman began working at South Bay Villas in South Bay on Oct. 9 and Ronald K. Benton began working at Covenant Villas in Belle Glade on Nov. 2.
A NEW BRIDE
If you have not already congratulated her, find Diana B. Jones, the administrative assistant at NOAH Development Corp. who was married to Belle Glade native Charles Anderson on Dec. 2 and wish her well. But when you see her, remember to refer to her by her new name, Mrs. Anderson. She insists.