KESWICK, Va. (WVIR) - Lifelong residents of Albemarle County got the finishing touches done to their home in Keswick on Wednesday.

Thanks to a partnership between the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and Tiger Fuel, Eugene and Cleo Carr can remain in the home they have lived in for more than 60 years.

"My parents don't want to move anywhere...they love it here," said their daughter, Dorothy Grimes, whose grandparents also lived in her parents' home.

The Carrs have not been able to maintain their home over the years before AHIP stepped in to help. AHIP Executive Director Jennifer Jacobs said they did an emergency repair in conjunction with volunteers and a church group who did work for them.

"It's a real community effort to make sure that this family is safe," Jacobs said.

On Wednesday, AHIP and Tiger Fuel began a year-long partnership by putting the finishing touch on the home: a fresh coat of paint.

"It's great to have an organization that is paid people but is also a lot of volunteers that can just help people in direct immediate need," said Albemarle County supervisor Normal Dill.

In addition to the time Tiger Fuel donated on Wednesday to help, they will also donate fuel and tank sets.

"A big part of what we want to do at Tiger is continue our cycle of success, where if we take care of the customer, the customer takes care of the company and then the company can take care of the employees," said Chief Operations Officer of Tiger Fuel, Taylor Sutton. "A lot of the guys that are here painting know the Carr family and have worked with them."

The Carr family says the work of the volunteers has made all the difference in their lives.


05/21/2019 Press Release from AHIP:

Charlottesville, VA – May 21, 2019 –A fresh coat of paint on the exterior of Eugene and Cleo Carr’s home is the finishing touch to AHIP’s critical home repair project for this senior couple in Keswick. Volunteers from Tiger Fuel Company will be scraping, caulking, and painting 1,800 square feet of exterior walls, shutters, and trim on Wednesday, May 22 to help this AHIP client family shore up their home to allow them to live safely for many years to come.

“It’s getting to the point now I can’t do anything, and I am so grateful for the help,” Cleo Carr said.

The Carrs were both born in Keswick and have lived in their home more than 60 years—raising their family of five children there. Their home was built in 1940, and limited resources have prevented important home maintenance over the years. Eugene, 81, worked as a dump truck driver and now is disabled, having had one of his legs amputated. Cleo, 79, worked for 28 years at GE in boards processing, assembling electrical boards for various devices.

The Tiger Fuel It Forward event is the official launch of a year-long partnership with AHIP to help more families in need across Charlottesville and Albemarle. As part of the partnership, Tiger Fuel is donating fuel, labor, tank sets, and other services valued up to $10,000. Tiger Fuel helped its first AHIP client in March by donating a propane delivery for another senior family in the county.

“We are thrilled to partner with AHIP and support our neighbors in need in Charlottesville and Albemarle County,” Taylor Sutton, Tiger Fuel chief operations officer, said. “At Tiger Fuel Company, we believe it is important to care for our community and ensure that families have access to safe and high-quality housing. Together we can make a difference and provide local families with warmth in their homes.”

Operating as the only year-round home repair nonprofit for low-income neighbors, AHIP receives 10 - 15 calls each week from local families in need of emergency home repairs, larger rehabilitations, and energy retrofits. Last year, AHIP and its supporters helped 324 people in 148 households make 296 critical repairs and energy upgrades.

“AHIP is thrilled that Tiger Fuel is drawn to our mission and is partnering with us to make tangible differences in the daily lives of our most vulnerable residents,” Jennifer Jacobs, AHIP executive director, said. “We thank Tiger Fuel and its volunteers for tackling this project that not only restores this family’s home and protects one of their largest assets, but will go a long way to preserving this beloved rural neighborhood.”