Habitat for Humanity Gives Veteran a Yard Makeover

September 15, 2013

A local U.S. Navy veteran is the first recipient of Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity's "A Brush with Kindness" yard makeover.

With the help of Fluvanna County Meals on Wheels and youth groups from Grace and Glory Lutheran Church, Slate Hill Baptist Church and Beaver Dam Baptist Church, veteran Rodger Walker's yard was transformed Sunday afternoon.

"They have completely repainted the entire back deck, they re-painted the front porch, they painted the entire foundation and we've had a weed wacker going out here for three solid hours," said Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity executive director Jennifer Whitehead.

"A Brush with Kindness" is a national program that focuses on the exterior revitalization of homes of deserving people.

"People sometimes by circumstance, disability, age or whatever can't quite keep the outside of their homes where they'd like it to be, so we come out one day, bring a bunch of kids or whoever wants to come in and just re-do it for them," said Whitehead.

The local Habitat group reached out to Meals on Wheels to help select the first candidate.

Lisa Himes, chair of the Fluvanna Meals on Wheels board of directors, says Walker was a natural choice.

"He's been through a lot this year. He just lost his leg and he's unable to do things at home and it was perfect with the Brush with Kindness because he needed a lot of outside TLC," said Himes.

Walker says he was surprised to find he was selected.

"I'm sad I can't do nothing myself. I'm trying to learn how to walk, but for somebody to do something for me is great," said Walker.
"There's only one thing I can say -- thank you."

Walker isn't the only person benefiting. Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity president Michael Himes says local youth are getting something out of it, too.

"We've been struggling for years to find something we could get them involved with and this was the perfect opportunity to involve them," said Himes. "I think it's extremely important that everyone give back to their community. If everyone did more of that, we'd have a much better community to live in."

Whitehead says the goal is to get children involved in other service projects within the county.

"Everybody talks about doing service work. The kids all want to get involved, but when you can actually come out here and have him stand out here and talk to you and just see exactly what they're doing and what it means to somebody specific, it just means the world to a lot of kids," said Whitehead.

The next "A Brush with Kindness" project is scheduled for October 12. The group hopes to complete four projects a year.

The event was sponsored by Red Rocker Candy.

To learn more about the national "A Brush with Kindness" campaign, click HERE.

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