Having built home sweet homes for nearly three decades, Virginia Braswell has decided to step down from her position as Habitat for Humanity Daviess County Executive Director. This change comes on her 80th birthday. She touched so many hearts in the people around her, and her devotion to the non-profit is acknowledged and appreciated.
Virginia took on this leadership role in 1993. Slightly unsure of what she was getting herself into, she started working three-hour work days which evolved into full day shifts. She accumulated more responsibilities such as attending committee meetings and connecting with people, families and communities involved in the non-profit.
While her position required an astounding amount of attention, Braswell never forgot to have fun. She inspired new awards for laughs and appreciation, incorporated a “no experience needed” kazoo band in the local holiday stroll and invited volunteers to pool parties. The fun did not distract the woman in charge. Habitat for Humanity is currently on its 150th house build.
Others know the strides Braswell made during her career, but she gives credit to all those who helped along the way. Throughout her 29 years, she never once took a paycheck so that she could build the entity’s wealth of the non-profit organization and extend its reach to more people than herself.
“It’s not me who made the impact, but all the committees that come together to be involved in the lives of others,” Braswell humbly acknowledges. “They are the ones making a difference.”
To honor her commitment and impact on the community, fellow fundraiser Dorothy Reid of Independence Bank decided to use Braswell’s continued dedication to inspire her next window design. “Virginia is such a bright star; she radiates warmth and has an enthusiasm for her work that is so special, and that needed to be celebrated by those who love her.”
Accompanying the window celebration in the entrance of Independence Square on Frederica Street in Owensboro, KY, fellow employees sourced a “Virginia Fund” which currently has more than $30,000. Members of the Daviess County Fiscal Court also surprised the team with a $1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity in her honor.
“Virginia was just so exceptional in her work,” Independence Bank Daviess County President Nick Oller states. “Habitat for Humanity grew under her leadership and really helped so many people. This beautiful organization now continues to impact our community. We are so grateful for her hard work.”
Virginia is confident the new Executive Director Jeremy Stephens is positively powerful and knows the team is going to continue building Habitat for Humanity up. For anyone wondering how they can help their community and others, Virginia has two lasting words of advice: “be involved.”