Back on the Block: Success Comes in Cans

On a steamy Saturday morning on Atlanta’s westside, a group of volunteers, sponsors and a family with two excited little girls gathered to dedicate a special home. The house was special to Atlanta Habitat because it was the first home the organization has built on the Westside in nearly 10 years. “We are committed to keeping affordable housing on the Westside,” says Atlanta Habitat CEO Lisa Y. Gordon. “Even though the neighborhood is rapidly changing with newcomers and new investments, we want to make sure that we are looking out for the interests of longtime residents and hardworking new homeowners.” 

After hundreds of hours of sweat equity, volunteering on other builds and attending several Atlanta Habitat Home Smart classes, Rashawn Medley and her two daughters now have a home of their own. Medley says her new home will give her new responsibilities and a sense of accomplishment. "It's important to me because I want my children to have a home and show them how to work hard for something," she says. “This new house helps them see how hard work pays off,” Lisa Gordon agrees. "We're about empowering people so that they're able to make their dreams a reality."

While Medley's home was the fifth build sponsored by Novelis for Atlanta Habitat, it is the first to be funded entirely by recycling nearly three million aluminum cans in their innovative Recycle for Good campaign. The Atlanta Falcons partnered with Novelis to promote Recycling for Good during the 2016-17 football season. "This is the perfect example of collaborations across the city of Atlanta," says Ashley Gravlee, manager for corporate social responsibility for Novelis. So many people came together to make this happen for the Medley family.”

The experience of building her home with Atlanta Habitat has given Medley a new outlook on life and on humanitarian efforts. "I’ve never really volunteered to help others, but I see the difference it makes and now it's a part of me."

Heartfelt thanks to the Novelis and Atlanta Falcons partners who proved that success comes in cans including: Arthur M. Blank Foundation, Westside on the Rise, the Mercedez-Benz Stadium and everyone who donated their cans to the cause.