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Habitat receives grant

The Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Charlotte County Chapter recently received a grant that will allow the organization to continue making a difference in the lives of those who live in the county seeking safe and secure homes.

The AARP presented Habitat with the $6,000 grant during a ceremony Wednesday at the ReStore at 1409 S. Main St. in Farmville.

The grant will be used to fund a mobile repair trailer that will be used for Habitat’s “A Brush with Kindness” program in Charlotte County, along with purchase of a pressure washer, a ladder and small hand tools.

“A Brush with Kindness” was the only Virginia program to have been chosen for AARP’s first Community Challenge grant among 89 recipients and 1,200 applications across the U.S.

“A Brush with Kindness,” which began involving homes and families this year, provides minor, exterior home repairs in Charlotte County.

Habitat Community Outreach Director for Habitat Sam Rabon said “A Brush with Kindness” has worked on one home so far, and recently changed its policy to encourage those without homeowner’s insurance to apply.

Representatives from the Charlotte County Partnership were present during the ceremony.

Natalie Snider, a program specialist with AARP Virginia, said the grants were for community organizations that seek to improve the areas around them, working to benefit people of all ages, races and socio-economic classes.

“We work a lot through volunteers, having volunteers offer their time and expertise and passion,” Snider said of the community projects the grants will help. “And their passion is what keeps us all going.”

The trailer will be enclosed and suited with ladders, a pressure washer, small hand tools and paint supplies, according to a release from Habitat.

Rabon said during the award presentation the trailer will also include the Habitat and AARP logos and will publicize the program when it travels through Charlotte or other areas.

He said the program is for people of all ages, though noted the majority of applicants are senior citizens who have lived in their homes for many years.

“We’re really excited about that,” Rabon said about the grant’s impact on the program and its recipients.

Rabon noted that Habitat serves multiple counties, and the trailer will store tools and other necessities.

“Now we have something that can stay in the county and hold the tools that we need,” Rabon said.

Rabon thanked volunteers in the county, particularly those involved in the partnership.

“Habitat does not work without volunteers who are committed to the belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live,” Rabon said. “We have a great team in Charlotte County with volunteers who come together and make sure we have everything we need.” 

Justin Hicks said Habitat volunteers and organizers faced challenges in storing and transporting tools, citing for one project they had to go without a ladder because the contractor who lent the ladder had to take it back for work.

“This will be a great opportunity for us,” Hicks said.