Darden Students Build Goodness Around Charlottesville

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

April 13, 2013

A handful of extreme makeovers happened at a number of sites around Charlottesville on Saturday. UVa's Darden School of Business teamed up with the Building Goodness Foundation to renovate homes or community areas each year.

For Ginger Herndon, it changed her life.

"It's a dream. I'll wake up in a few days and I'll know it really happened," she said, holding back tears as she stood in front of her home that was taken over by a group of complete strangers.

She's lived at 918 Elliot Avenue for 30 years now. After her husband passed away and living paycheck to paycheck, she lost all hope in doing any of the work she and her husband planned.

"It's a miracle. It would've taken me seven to 10 years to get done they're doing for me today," Herndon said.

The Building Goodness Foundation helps homeowners like Herndon and teams up with more than 200 students at UVa's Darden School to build the goodness for the people and areas that need it.

Local contractors and construction companies also helped in each of the renovating projects.

"It's just one day of work but it means so much to her to be able to continue to be a homeowner and live a much better life," said Brian Gooch, the director of Building Goodness at Darden. "We're only at Darden for two years, so we want to give back to this community."

The Charlottesville Police Department helps refer homeowners and sites to the foundation for their projects each year.

Officers D.E. Williams and Joe Brown have known Herndon for their entire careers. They met her at Arby's, where she has worked for more than 20 years.

"She always comes and sits with us at the table and talk to us and we realized her needs and just connected the resources," Brown said.

"It's a long time comin' but it's here today. I've been marking it off on my calender but it's here today," Herndon said.

Students and the community come together to build goodness and change someone's world completely.

"They're all such good people, they're just doing it from the heart," Herndon said.

She says now her only wish is that her husband would be here to see their dream become reality.

Find out more about other projects and the program at www.DardenGoodness.org

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