August 26, 2013
Twenty-three homes will go through major makeovers in the next two years all thanks to the Albemarle Home Improvement Program (AHIP).
On Monday members of Wells Fargo Central Virginia region helped AHIP begin improvements on another home in the 10th and Page community. Mrs. McGruder has lived there for 50 years with only one bathroom which is upstairs.
Wells Fargo donated $15,000 towards the repairs and volunteers from all over Virginia helped pain the exterior and install an electronic lift to the upstairs bathroom and a half bathroom on the first level.
"Fix it up a little for her just to probably re-live some of those great memories I'm sure she has in this house," said Erica Chamberlain the store manager at a Wells Fargo branch in Roanoke.
Around the corner is the first project AHIP started in the 10th and Page area.
"I mean it's like coming to a new house it's like god this is where we live, this is ours," said Lutticia Wilhite standing in her new kitchen.
"I thought I was gonna get a few cabinets and that was it but now I mean, God I love this kitchen," she said.
AHIP is going block to block in Charlottesville.
"They're all different maintenance things a lot of them are safety and hazard issues that haven't been dealt with cause of their income being so low," said Ravi Respeto of AHIP. "And then when we redo a kitchen or a bathroom, when they come and see those repairs, it's like Christmas morning."
That Christmas morning feeling that Wilhite still gets even a month and a half after the project started will be felt by 20 more families and seniors in that community.
From UVa architecture students to Wells Fargo employees, there's help from all around Virginia to create better futures here.
Lutticia dreamed of one day having her own daycare center. Now, she has a brand new play room that used to be a dusty porch in bad shape.
"All my ideas I had are in that room. I mean it's even more but they're gonna love this room. It's a room kids can play in and learn in."
There are nearly 400 people in AHIP's waiting list and Lutticia says it is well worth any wait.