A painting of the new home by artist Janice HarveyVerling Home

July 2014 - The home's construction began when its panelized walls were constructed on the Woodberry Forest campus during a November, 2013, blitz-build day. Now those boy-built walls stand on a donated lot in Unionville, Virginia, as part of a home where the family's children can enjoy the simple pleasures of climbing trees, riding bicycles, and playing on a swing set. The Verling family, who have themselves put in over 700 hours of labor on the home.. 

This is the 28th home build by Orange County Habitat for Humanity for Orange county families. In addition to Woodberry Forest School, several business and numerous volunteers helped make the home a reality. Click here to see a list of the major contributors and thank them when you see them. Click here our webpage chronicling this build of the new home for the Verling family.

Habitat 27 house - a rehabJohn, Laurie, Isaiah (6), and Ariana (2)Orange County Habitat's 27 Home -
IS NOW
the permanent home for Laurie Rogers, John Brown and
their children Isaiah, and Ariana

  Habitat for Humanity was able to purchase and rehabilitate this foreclosed house with the help of a Neighborhood Stabilization Program Grant, State funds, and funds provided by our loyal individual donors. MORE

MARINE PICTURE PVT MIDDLEBROOK, DEVYN T
Marine Private Devyn Middlebrook
  
Devyn is the son of our partners, Henry & Melinda Middlebrook.  He graduated from Or High, joined the Marines.  He finished MCT Marine Combat Training & will be stationed at Twentynine Palms, CA.  Devyn is married & they are expecting their first child.

Habitat's 26th Home Recipient
By  Carol Roop

Tracy FieldsThe words “persistent” and “enthusiastic” only begin to describe Tracy Fields.  She and her son are the newest partner family for an Orange County Habitat for Humanity home.  Twenty five other families have preceded her.  Her smile flashes 100 watts when asked about her journey to home ownership. ..

Originally from Harpers’ Ferry, West Virginia, Tracy has lived in Orange County for five years.  She says that she prayed for those five years for the opportunity to give her son, five year old Josiah, a safe place in the country to play.  She has often worked two jobs to provide for her son.  Living in a dark, forty year old trailer, she in unable to cook, do laundry or have a space of her own. “It is depressing,” she says.  Habitat has helped her to do something that she was desperately trying to do: get a place of her own to come home to.

She sought assistance from Ruth Bramlett of Skyline Community Action.  After many determined visits and phone calls by Tracy, Ruth got the call that set things in motion.  A foreclosed home, ready to be refurbished, had been purchased by Habitat.  Ruth thought immediately of Tracy.  When the Habitat Family Selection Committee came to Tracy’s door with the news, her reaction was, “What! Are you serious?” Tracy was extremely fortunate that things fell into place so quickly.  She met all the qualifications required.   Since Habitat for Humanity projects are “A Hand, Up Not a Hand Out,” Tracy, as a prospective homeowner, must have the required down payment, sufficient income, for mortgage payments, taxes & insurance and the willingness and ability to put in 150 Sweat Equity hours.

When asked what she is most looking forward to, she sits back, sighs and smiles widely.  “Birthday parties and sleepovers for my son.  Holidays will be wonderful.  Baking cookies in my kitchen and watching the snow fall in the trees.”  She continues,” I thought, how will I ever afford a normal life for my child?  Never in a million years did I think it would happen.  God is good.” more

Habitat’s 25th Partner Family

Orange County Habitat for Humanity's twenty-fifth home is now Kerri Hedinger's home. Kerri has been a resident of Orange County since 1983 after moving here from West Virginia. She has three children: Tyler, age 19; Erin, age 18; and Devin, age 12. Stability and consistency are what having a home of your own means to this family. They have moved several times in the last 12 years and their most recent home was too small for them. Kerri is thrilled to be able to provide a safe and secure home for her family. Kerri, like every other parent, wanted a place where her children can be safe, where they and their friends can come to. She now has the security of owning a home and a sense of accomplishment because she helped to build it.

Dedication
Left Bill Nowers and Adrianna Cowan-Waddy (Orange County Habitat for Humanity President) help break ground for Habitat's partner family, (right ) Kerri Hedinger and Devin Hedinger.

Kerri and Devin in frount of their new home
On August 29, 2010, the twenty-fifth home completed by Orange County Habitat for Humanity was dedicated. It is now the home for Kerri Hedinger and her family. Kerry, and her son Devin, are shown in front of their new home.

Pictures of Raising the Walls on April 10 Workday
Pictures from the April 17, 2010, Workday and finishing the home
Dedication Day pictures - August 29, 2010

Kerry and all of us thanks to Bill Nowers & Bud Dominick for the leadership and work they provided and to all the other volunteers and contributors that made this possible. Bill, Kerry, Harold Thompson and Tim Tigner have worked on the house at least 3 days a week to complete construction.
   
   

The Beasley Family Makes OCHFH's 24th Home

Beasley FamilyAnthony (called Mike) and Gissela (called GiGi) Beasley have been partners with Orange County Habitat for Humanity since 2006.  They and their three children waited a long, long time for the opportunity to own a home of their own…one that is warm and dry, one that has enough space for their family, and one that they can afford.  The children now have a yard where they can play.

The Beasley family (pictured with children Kevin, Keanna, & Anthony Jr.) at the dedicatioin of their new home. After putting down their down payment they put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity helping volunteers build the house. 

Bill Nowers

This was the 24th house built by Orange County (formerly Rapidan) Habitat for Humanity…built in cooperation with partner families and with community support like yours. The Orange Rotary Club has donated funds for the well.  Many other individuals in Orange County contributed the needed funds to purchace supplies.

Everyone expresses a special thanks to Bill Nowers (shown to the right), OCHFH's Building Chairman, who spent many long days working from the time the footers were dug through the last inspection. ( more pictures of those helped make the Beasley's home a reality.)

Newest Family
Victoria Breeding and Kane and Vicki's mon in front of their new habitat home.

Orange Habitat Homeowner # 21

Victoria E. Breeding & son Kane have partnered with OCHFH to become homeowners during the nationwide Home Builders Blitz completed last June.

Vickie works as a Sales and Service Specialist at Plow & Hearth and always dreamed of owning a home that will provide a better place to raise a family. Until her Habitat house was completed, Breeding lived in housing that was too expensive and too small where rent equaled more than 60% of her monthly income.

In partnering with OCHFH, Vickie & her family have volunteered more than 300 sweat equity hours by helping with the fundraising for the golf tournament at Lake of the Woods and with the various aspects of the Builder’s Blitz. She is now paying less in mortgage, taxes & insurance for her house than she was paying for her rental place.

Vickie’s home has tan siding, 1240 sq. ft. of space & a few modifications to accommodate Kane’s wheelchair. Kane will be going to Locust Grove Elementary School only 10 minutes away from their new home.

A September 2013 Note from Vicki Breeding (recieved Habitat home 21)

Hi I'm Vicki Breeding,
              I received my home from Orange County Habitat for Humanity in June 2006. I love my home. It was made handicap accessible for my son with Cerebral Palsy and it has made a huge difference in our life. We have plenty of room for all his equipment (wheelchair,stander,gait trainer and feeding chair) and plenty of room to move him around from room to room and his bathroom with the roll in shower is great. We're also within 10 minutes from his school which is great in case of an emergency with him at school. I was out here every day with habitat and working with them while my house was being built and I loved working with everybody. I greatly appreciate the people at Orange County Habitat for Humanity for working with me to make my family's life easier. I can't thank them enough !
                                                               Thank you,
                                                            Vicki Breeding

Middlebrook Home Dedicated– On November 13, 2005, family, friends, and Habitat partners gathered together on this beautiful autumn afternoon to dedicate the newest Habitat for Humanity house in Orange County. The new owners are Henry and Melinda Middlebrook and their children. The house was packed with people, and the table full of wonderful food, all prepared by Melinda and her family with loving hands and generous spirits. Rev. Elizabeth McCrary of Orange Presbyterian Church offered our thanks to God in this endeavor, and presented the Middlebrook’s with a family Bible. Ann Leahy gave a lovely cross-stitched “Welcome” to the family on behalf of the Charlottesville Chapter of Monticello NeedleArts. Dwain Cox, Executive Director of Rapidan Habitat for Humanity gave the traditional basket from Habitat to the newest partner family.

After the presentations, the packed house spilled outside into the warm afternoon. Children played in the yard, and everywhere, family and friends talked and laughed. It was a great day for a house dedication.

Henry Middlebrook was a valuable worker in getting two houses built, the Bernard house and his own. Henry found a mason to do the foundations and successfully enlisted family and friends to work as a major part of the building crew this summer along with a number of other dedicated volunteers. A special thanks is due the Lake of the Woods AARP for supplying needed and skilled volunteers.

MEET THE FERGUSON FAMILY


Wade & Darlene Ferguson, left, in front of their new house with neighbors Robert Snead, and Lanoka Washington & her 2 sons.

Sometimes life is hard. Jobs don’t work out. Kids get sick. There’s not enough money to find a decent place to live. So you rent what you can afford. For Wade & Darlene Ferguson, that place was an old 1850’s farmhouse, with gaps in the wall where you could see daylight, with plumbing that barely worked and then quit altogether, with wood heat that needed to be fed every two hours. When it turned out that one of the children was having allergic reactions to the insulation that was in the house, the family moved to a 1 BR basement apartment.

For a family of 3 children & 2 adults, this was more than a little overcrowded. The two teenagers had to sleep in the living room while the youngest shared a room with his parents.

Hope came to this family in the person of Marlene Dominick, who chaired the Family Selection Committee for Rapidan Habitat for Humanity. Marlene brought gallons and gallons of water when the well went out; she encouraged Wade & Darlene and kept their hopes alive while they struggled to get by.

 

Now the Ferguson family has a new Habitat house to call home. Simon, their oldest child, is away at school. Stephen has graduated from school and begins a new job this week. And Jonathan, the youngest, is thrilled to have a room of his own. When Wade & Darlene were working on their house, Jonathan would take his toy cars and go to “his room”, even when his room was only a stud wall & a sub floor, to play.


At their house dedication Darlene & Wade Ferguson, on right, hold their dedication basket while John Henry, left, reads the needlework sampler provided by a local sewing group.

Wade says Habitat has been a blessing to his family, and he is intent on sharing that same blessing with others. His life has been changed, and Wade wants to make sure Habitat stays alive and active in this community. Since completing the work on his Habitat house, Wade has joined the Board of Directors for Rapidan Habitat and is working on ways to keep partner families involved with each other and with Habitat.

Even now, the volunteers who work and build with Habitat for Humanity amaze Wade. The Building Committee who worked side by side with Wade and other families at Tatum Villa are God-sent, giving out of the goodness of their hearts, dedicated to their work. Wade wants to continue to be a part of that, sowing seeds of blessings for other families.

We welcome Wade & Darlene Ferguson and their children as on-going partners with Rapidan Habitat for Humanity!



Meet Lanoka Washington –
September 2004

She never gives up hope

Lanoka & her 2 sons are recent partners with Rapidan Habitat for Humanity. After having put in hours and hours of sweat equity, saved up for a down payment and closing costs, and shown lots of patience, grit, and determination, Lanoka and her family will soon be moving into their new Habitat house.

Lanoka grew up here in Orange County. She wanted to help people, so she became trained as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and now works at the Baptist Retirement Home near Culpeper. Lanoka likes the residents of the Baptist Home. She’ll read a story or play a game of checkers…things that brighten up the day for someone else. One of these days, Lanoka would like to go back to school for additional nursing training.

Not too long ago, this young family was living in a rented trailer where the water was not reliable. In the summer, they usually had water, but in the winter, the pipes would freeze and there would be weeks and months without any water at all. Lanoka felt bad that she had to have her children in that kind of environment, but by the time she paid rent, bought groceries and clothes for the boys, there was no money left over.

It was also discouraging to look for a better rental place. Lanoka was told that she didn’t have enough income or that the owner didn’t want to rent to a single parent family. The thought of owning a house was far out of her reach.

When you’re young & single, you have only yourself to think about. Once you have children though, their needs come first. Lanoka says that having children “changes everything.” As Lanoka’s housing situation became worse, she says she tried everything to get a better place to live, but nothing seemed to work out. One day, Lanoka read information that had come home with her child from school, and it had a contact number for Rapidan Habitat for Humanity. She was desperate to improve her housing, so she made a call.

That was the first step in this journey. Lanoka and volunteers from Rapidan Habitat for Humanity have worked together for many months, and Lanoka’s family will soon move into their new house on Miracle Way, off Tatum Road.

Lanoka’s advice to others is “never give up hope.” Living as she did, without water, was a hard experience, but Lanoka says it made her stronger, and gave her will power to make a change. Working with the volunteers at Habitat has been a blessing, a true God-given blessing. Lanoka feels a sense of relief that she can give her children a stable home.

Her boys, Andrew and Dominic are already looking forward to their own rooms, and a yard. They’ve already met some of the youngsters in the neighborhood and started to make friends.

This new house is on a road called Miracle Way, and Lanoka feels this home is a real miracle for her and her family. The opportunity to give her children a stable home was out of her reach until Habitat for Humanity stretched out its hands. And that’s what Habitat for Humanity does best…we reach out to give a hand up to families who need just a chance for better housing. Partners like Lanoka reach back, and together we can build a home and build a stronger community.

Meet the Coppage Family

Anna and Clayton Coppage and their two sons, Noah and Christian, moved into Tatum Villa on Saturday, September 4 th. They are very excited for this new beginning for their family.

Their journey began in 2003 when their lives began spinning out of control. They were renting a trailer that was unsafe due to high levels of carbon monoxide; unfortunately, they didn’t have enough money to afford other housing. One day their son, Noah, who was attending Head Start, brought home a little pamphlet that talked about the services and programs that are available in Orange County. The pamphlet included information about the Rapidan Habitat for Humanity.

So, Clayton called immediately, shared his story, and requested an application. Then they waited for verification that their application was accepted. In the meantime, they had to leave the trailer and began several months of homelessness; first, staying with friends, then a sibling and finally Clayton’s parents. Each move was difficult because they had no control over their environment; they were guests and their sons were confused and upset. They frequently asked, broke their hearts to hear their son feel like he had done something wrong; they felt like they had failed as parents. In faith, they would tell the boys that they were going to have a house soon.


Clayton Coppage holds welcoming card from WoodsWork that build the basic house during the June Blitz-Build.

They rejoiced when they received confirmation in February that they were accepted as a partner family; the bad news was that Rapidan Habitat wouldn’t even begin building their house until June 2004.

As they continued moving around, there was constant pressure to try to help their sons adjust to each new situation. They didn’t even have their toys, and could only play when the children they were staying with wanted to share. The pressures naturally led to family problems because they were always trying to make sure they were up early and ready to go so they wouldn’t disturb anyone especially because they were in very small houses that were already overcrowded.

In June, Rapidan Habitat broke ground on the Coppage home. During construction, they made frequent visits to check on the progress on their house and

to complete their “sweat equity” commitment. Their sons loved seeing the house and their rooms. The house was real and gave them “hope” that their life as a homeless family would come to an end.


The new Coppage Family Home waiting to be landscaped by an Orange County Garden club.

They are very grateful for a permanent roof over their heads and a safe place to raise the sons. Anna said, “we almost didn’t send Noah to Head Start, but praise God for the day I opened that little pamphlet from Head Start; I don’t know what we would have done without Habitat.”

We pray that Anna, Clayton and their sons, Noah and Christian, will be blessed in their new home for many years.

Four Families To Inhabit Tatum Villa!


Family representatives man shovels as the preparing to break ground for their new Habitat homes, L, to R., Wade Ferguson, Lanoka Washington, Clayton Coppage, and Robert Snead.

July 2004 - The four selected families were all present for the groundbreaking and have been busy putting in their sweat equity hours. Tatum Villa is a $240,000 building project and is the largest project ever undertaken by RHH. The four homes are located on large wooded lots and are ideal for young families. Each home will have it's own water well and sewerage system.

The families are:

  1. Lanoka Washington and her two sons, two and five – They currently live in Unionville and Lanoka works for an assisted living facility. The two boys are in preschool.
  2. Clayton Coppage and Anna and their two boys, five and three, in preschool – The family temporarily live in Spotsylvania with relatives.
  3. Robert Snead and his three-year-old daughter – They now live in Locust Grove where the daughter goes to The Early Learning Center. Robert works for Lake of the Woods Association.
  4. Wade and Darlene Ferguson and their two boys – the Ferguson’s temporarily live in Rixieville and are eager to get back to Orange County. Wade works for the new Lowes Home Improvement Center in Culpeper.

It'll be great to have so many children in this neighborhood. All Habitat partner families must meet 3 guidelines. First, they must have a need for better housing that cannot be met another way. Second, they must have sufficient income to repay a 0% interest mortgage. And third, they must be willing to partner with Habitat. After all, Habitat is a hand up, not a hand out, and one of Habitat's goals is to build community, not just houses.