Taken from a post on The Roanoke [Va.] Times blog on Botetourt County
Frozen Dawn dishwashing liquid in a kitchen in Botetourt County [Virginia] where people pride themselves on the median income of $62,000? It happened to the Rogers family of Eagle Rock in 2010 when the temperature in their old farmhouse kitchen reached the single digits. No central heat and the chimney of the 19th century home had crumbled. Water and indoor plumbing no longer functioned. Despair confronted a family of five where the mother had lost her job when JTEK closed, one child had several physical impairments, the father on disability from a back injury.
On Monday April 30, Southeast RCAP held a joyous ribbon cutting for an Indoor Plumbing and Rehabilitation Program for rural areas. This story has a happy ending– the Rogers Family has a new home.
The mother, Dawn Rogers went back to school on a job re-training program at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College where she will graduate next week in business management. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate no less and one of two students to be selected Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities at DSLCC. The children Elizabeth, Mary and Ricky now have a home with heat and plumbing and Wayne Rogers the father had neck surgery. He has lost weight, he said “from eating better” and is hopeful to one day get the rest of the medical care he needs. Mary perhaps said it best, a freshman in high school, “I can have someone over to spend the night.” Something that many parents and children take for granted.
How did this happen? ” I thank the good Lord above,” said Rogers and a series of events that were kismet. The picture of the frozen Dawn discovered on a camera chip during a Botetourt View interview of Elizabeth Rogers garnering “Toys for Tots” so she could help James River High School get a concert called attention to their plight. Over $500 dollars worth of gift cards and donations came to the family from the Facebook photo of the frozen liquid prior to Christmas when all seemed bleak. The local Eagle Rock Volunteer Fire and Rescue has pitched in to help. Elizabeth and Dawn work as volunteers.
In March 2011, a call from Dawn Rogers when she had trouble getting the State of Virginia to carry through with timely payments with job retraining funds promised to laid off workers, connected her with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner at the North Star Restaurant last March when he visited Botetourt County. Sun Trust banker Tiphanie A. Witt put together a package for the Rogers family for them to deliver to his Roanoke office to Drew Densmore and Lou Arnatt Kadiri, his aides. Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) where multiple people, Amazetta Anderson, Kenny Rodgers, Teresa Volk, Russell Rice and many others were involved helping the Rogers get a wood constructed four bedroom home on the site of their old home, which was torn down. Even their board member Clarence Martin came to the ribbon cutting. Students from the Hollins University Leadership Program came down and as a service project, made flower beds( literally) and set up garden space. The new house sits in the family garden plot.
The Rogers have a low interest mortgage and with Dawn’s graduation, comes the prospect of finding a job for the “A” student. She is ready to get started on their new future. “This has been wonderful. Every one has been so nice to me. It has been overwhelming.” Not all is finished. The family is sleeping on air mattresses and are looking for second hand gently used or donated mattresses and box springs. Maybe even a bed. But the family will be warm and cool thanks to a heat pump from C &J Services of Buchanan. Jill Mays was on hand to wish them well from that company.
Many pitched in to help. Red Roof Inn provided rooms until the home construction finished. Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Eco Pure, Planet Care and all of those who helped along the way. “I’d like to thank the people who came from the leadership class, too,” said Dawn. They are Gabrielle Rader, Kindra Wyatt, Abby Klein, Emily Wood, Ashleigh McClane, Geordan West, Sarah Morgan, Kayla Jones and Carrie Dixon.