Barbara Whitehead reached out to Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush With Kindness program for help after Hurricane Irene left numerous tree branches hanging dangerously close to her home. But Barbara’s home had been falling into minor disrepair after her husband passed away in 2007. When asked why she should be selected for our program Barbara stated, “When my husband was alive he did all the necessary things. He worked so hard to maintain a decent home for us.”
Barbara suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which makes it difficult for her to breathe and unable to make repairs to her home. Along with medical obstacles, Barbara is living on a fixed income and was unable to hire contractors to make the needed repairs. As we pulled up to the single family home, we noticed the peeling paint and overflowing gutters and knew we could do more than remove a few branches.
The home repair evaluation led us to the back deck, where decaying railings created an unsafe condition. Her back patio door did not close properly and the wood casing surrounding it was rotted. On March 15, 2012, we began repairing the Dale City home. After 14 work days, 41 individual volunteers, 14 donated lunches and more than 430 volunteer hours, we completed the A Brush With Kindness project. The difference in the exterior of this home is incredible. Thank you to the United Way of the National Capital Area for sponsoring this project and Laprea Services Inc. for donating their employees to paint the exterior of the home.
On April 27, Barbara reached out to express her gratitude:
“Volunteers and Donors,
“I don't think the words have been invented yet to express my appreciation for what you have done for me, but please know that I am so grateful to ALL of you for helping me to regain my self esteem, and enabling me to have pride in my home once again. All of you will always have a special place in my heart, and every time I look at the beautiful work you have done, I will remember how wonderful you are.
“God bless all of you, and may the most you wish for in life be just a sample of what you receive."