Family home receives needed renovations

Published 9:44 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Carrie Caldwell’s East Pinner Street home has been in her family for more than 30 years, and it received much-needed renovations from the Hampton Roads Realtors Association on Tuesday.

The Hampton Roads Realtors Association’s Have a Heart program partnered with Chesapeake’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2498, Habitat for Humanity, Casone Enterprises, Atlantic Shores Heating and Cooling, Home Depot and JES Foundation Repair to make Caldwell’s dreams come true.

“I want to make a bigger difference with these events,” said Alexandra Serrano, Have a Heart program leader. “We met with her, and honestly we kind of went overboard.”

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Serrano was transplanted to Hampton Roads from Arizona, and it has opened her eyes to the lives of military families, and that was a big reason for choosing Caldwell, who lost her son, Cpl. Johnathon Williams, in Desert Storm in 1991.

Serrano and Casone Enterprises decided on the scope of work, and the retail value totaled $50,000, according to Casone Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Phil Casone. The work was completed in one day, despite how tall the order was.

These renovations have been a dream of Caldwell’s since she’s lived in the house, and she’s had a picture of a new kitchen on her fridge for a long time.

“I can’t believe it. I’m most excited for the kitchen to be renovated,” Caldwell said. “I am so overwhelmed. I had no idea it was going to be this huge, and it’s amazing.”

Along with the kitchen, all the floors on the first floor were replaced, the whole house was painted, all the lighting was replaced and the drywall was replaced.

The road to the renovations wasn’t an easy one, but Serrano and her team were able to make it work at the 11th hour.

The group had applied for a grant for the work through Habitat for Humanity, but the grant wasn’t approved in time. Serrano made a late-night call to Lisa Frates, managing broker for the real estate group for JES Foundation Repair.

The request for funding found its way to the chief executive officer of JES, Matt Malone, and without skipping a beat he approved the request.

“We love helping to help those who deserve homes,” JES spokesman Eric Lackey said. “We always want to help veterans and veterans’ families. This is a great contribution to Ms. Caldwell.”

The grant from Habitat for Humanity was approved Tuesday morning, and they will be able to reimburse JES for their generous help.

Caldwell sat outside all day because she wanted to be surprised for the big reveal, and she was joined by her daughter and grandsons.

“I am in awe, and I am so excited,” said Caldwell’s daughter, Jensi Usher. “My mom has watched home renovation shows and always wanted something different.”

“I’m excited to see her face when it is all done,” Serrano said. “It’s been so great to see the whole community come out.”

There were 125 volunteers all day from 10 to 15 different real estate offices in Hampton Roads.