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Can Habitat Middlesex become self-supporting?

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Ryheem Lockley

by Becky Melton

When we do the math, we find that once 15 to 20 houses are built by a local Habitat Affiliate, the local organization can continue constructing additional houses without the need for raising donor funds. This is possible because the mortgage payments made on the already constructed houses will provide funds for future homes.  So, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Perhaps the magic number is either 15 or 24. Ryheem Lockley, age 15, is Charlotte Dandy’s son. The number 24 was on his jersey while he played basketball for the Richmond Squires this summer. This organization was created 21 years ago for the purpose of identifying and grooming young men to play college and professional ball.

This past winter, Ryheem was playing basketball during an open gym session at Christchurch School when a scout asked him if he was interested in playing for the Squires. Of course he jumped at the chance. He has now returned home with some wonderful memories of the last two months.  

From a team perspective, he is proud to say that the Squires finished the season ranked fifth out of 250 teams. From a personal point of view, he appreciates that he was exposed to a lot; the coaches not only worked on basketball plays and strategies, but continually talked to the players about various life-related issues such as how to behave in public, how to manage money, etc. 

Besides memories, Ryheem has dreams about maybe someday being picked to play for a professional team. He also likes to dream about his family getting a new house they can truly think of as “home.”

In the meantime, Ryheem is starting to get back in the local scene. He has started football practice and hopes everyone will turn out to support the Middlesex High Chargers this September. His mother Charlotte wants him to prepare to hit the books.

To help one dream come true, please send your donation to HFH Middlesex, P.O. Box 492, Hartfield, VA 23071 and note in the memo section of your check “Dandy Family Build.”

Contributions to the Dandy Family Build last week were:

  • Bob and Nancy Walker, $100.
  • Charlie and Beverly Hart, $100.

  • Total as of August 15: $16,424.50.

    posted 08.19.2009

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