The Norman Transcript


July 15, 2013

Cleveland County Habitat dedicates first home since tornado

NORMAN — Family, friends and Habitat for Humanity volunteers all huddled around to support new homeowners in Moore on Sunday for the first home dedication since the May 20 tornado.

“We’re relieved that the home is still here after the tornado,” new homeowner James Underwood said. “We were living in a two-bedroom apartment with four kids.”

James and Naida Underwood will hopefully begin moving into their new home by next weekend with children Sharon, Amellia, Jerome and Joslyn. The children range in age from two to 12.

The dedication was delayed for about a month after the new home sustained some roof damage when the tornado hit Moore. Some signs of damage from the storm were still visible in the neighborhood Sunday and the weather was gloomy, but the Underwood’s spirits were high and hopeful as they claimed their new home.

“I’m excited,” Naida Underwood said. “(The kids) are excited, now they get their own room and they have a yard to play in.”

During the dedication Underwood thanked her family, friends, their church family and everyone who worked on the home.

“You guys have been my support, my rock. We could never have gotten this done without you guys,” she said.

As tears welled up in the eyes of several, Linda Banta, executive director for Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity, said it is days like this that make it all worth it.

“This is the day when we say, ‘this is why we do this, because of families like you,’” Banta said.

Underwood said she and her family are really grateful to Habitat and all of the people in the community who cared enough to make this dream happen for them.

“This is a new beginning for Moore. It’s a new family moving into the first home they will own,” Banta said.

Board President Phillip Graham said in the very near future, Habitat for Humanity is going to play a big role in helping rebuild the community of Moore. Graham said if anyone is interested in volunteering to help with that process, contact the Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity .

To learn more about how to volunteer visit or call Habitat’s volunteer coordinator at 405-360-7868.

Jessica Bruha



Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • movieposter Movie about Moore tornado survivors premieres May 16

    MOORE — Exploring ideas of faith and hope, an Oklahoma faith-based documentary on the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16....

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survivors observe 19th anniversary

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, rescue workers and the family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have observed the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack....

    April 20, 2014

  • Police arrest man connected to homicide

    Norman Police have arrested Abid Sandhu, 37 years old, of Norman, on a complaint of Murder in the First Degree. Formal charges have yet to be filed. At approximately 3:35 a.m. Saturday, the Norman Police Communications Center received a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Cody’s Run raises $14,000

    Cody Ponder’s positive attitude was infectious even while he struggled with esophageal cancer. He always worked to help others and his giving spirit inspired a 5k race to benefit struggling patients. Last year Cody’s family organized a run ...

    April 20, 2014

  • State budget talks center on cuts

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With six weeks left in the 2014 session, behind-the-scenes negotiations among the House, Senate and governor’s office are ramping up on how to plug a $188 million hole in the budget and fund programs for education, public ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose measure

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature, proposed as a reaction to the case of an oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions, that deals with training requirements for oral surgery ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Former mayor files for county office

    Local physician and former Norman Mayor Harold Haralson recently filed his candidacy for the Cleveland County Commission District 3 seat....

    April 20, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014