The walls inside Reisie Murchison’s new home in Arabi, La., are filled with the signatures of Operation Southern Comfort volunteers who built the structure.
continued Six months after the house was done, during which time Murchison’s mother passed away, she and her family were sitting outside when Danielle went into the house.
“She came running out and said she saw smoke. The house was on fire,” Murchison said. “She had little light-up butterflies around her window and they ignited. That brought us down to sticks and bricks again.”
Murchison was able to rebuild with the help of OSC volunteers. Unfortunately, tragedy wasn’t done with Murchison; she lost the house to her ex-husband and his new wife just nine months later.
But when Andrzejewski said he’d be there until the end, he meant it.
“Norman heard and came to New Orleans. He said, ‘We’ll find you a piece of property and we’ll build you a house,” Murchison said.
But Murchison, who gets by on Social Security, couldn’t afford any property. That’s when another angel stepped in, an elderly friend whom Murchison had helped during the hurricane.
“I told her about what Southern Comfort was doing, and I was going to ask her to help me by cosigning a loan,” Murchison said. “But she said, ‘No, I’m going to buy the property for you. And one day you can help someone else.’”
Murchison’s friend also gave her the money to purchase a mobile home from another friend, where Murchison and her daughter have been living while the new house was being constructed by OSC volunteers.
Now, Murchison is just a couple of weeks away from moving in.
“I’m now two weeks away from moving into our beautiful home,” she said. “It’s the most beautiful home I’ve seen in my life. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”
And the home is full of reminders of the angels from Syracuse — and around the world — who came to help her.
“All of the studs have kids’ names on them. There are 600 signatures on the studs in my house,”’ Murchison said. “I’ve had people from Peru, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Romania and my whole family in New York. I have more family in New York than you do. These people are my family. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’re loved that much.”