By Michael Campbell, News Editor
3:36 p.m. | August 17, 2017
DINWIDDIE – For many, last Tuesday afternoon was just another day in the grand scheme of things, but for one family nestled just off Courthouse Road, Tuesday, August 8 will hold a special meaning for years to come following the gift of a mortgage-free home to their family.
Thanks to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization who works to build strong, stable and secure military families, and their partner JPMorgan Chase bank, U.S. Army Sergeant Alvah Moore and his wife Kimberly Taylor were provided the home Tuesday during the special ceremony where a myriad of emotions was felt by the new homeowners.
Pulling into the driveway, Taylor, holding one of the family’s two dogs, simply said, “Look, we’re home,” while carrying a smile that shined brighter than the cloud-blocked sun of the overcast afternoon.
The road to getting to this point was a long one, going back over two years going all the way back to a prospective home being made available, Operation Homefront caseworker Maurjon Alston explained.
Through their relationship with various financial institutions, homes are provided to Operation Homefront to be placed on their site for prospective families to apply to be considered for, with those individuals being presented to a selection committee before the qualified person is paired with a caseworker, like Alston.
“We really walk with them hand-in-hand over two years,” she said as explained many of the steps that she went through with couple. “We have monthly communications, we set them up with a financial counselor and discuss financial information, home improvement, and other topics.”
For Alston, it was the first time she got to see Moore and Taylor in person after years of communication on the phone and e-mail and the smiles and hugs were not hard to come by.
Days like Tuesday are the days Alston said she truly loves.
“This is an amazing feeling,” she said. “I have been with Operation Homefront for two years and I can honestly say two years later, I love what I get to do. It is not what I have to do, it is what I get to do. My dad was former military so I know how it feels to be, as a dependent, and to know the sacrifices that some of our veterans have made, be it deployments or away from families, definitely this moment here was the culmination of everything they have gone through to be able to be awarded a mortgage free home.”
As Moore and Taylor arrived at their new home, the pair were greeted by their representative in Washington, D.C., Congressman Donald McEachin, who welcomed them to Dinwiddie and his district and made a commitment to the couple to be available to them if they have any needs.
McEachin praised Operation Homefront for their efforts to help military families around America, including in Virginia, where the armed forces are very much integrated into the heartbeat of the Commonwealth.
“This is a terrific thing that Operation Homefront and Chase are doing to make sure our veterans have mortgage-free homes,” he said, adding that active duty and veteran members of America’s military are an important part of the constituency he serves in the Virginia’s Fourth District.
After meeting with McEachin, the moment Moore, Taylor, and Operation Homefront had worked to reach, the exchange of keys, giving the couple their new home. What may seem like a simple set of keys symbolizes so much more for Taylor, who embraced her husband as she shed tears of happiness.
“This means the rest of our lives,” she said. “This means we can complete ourselves.”
Moore, who began serving in the Marines in 2000 with tours of duty in Iraq and Japan before his honorable discharge in 2013 and eventual enlistment into the U.S. Army Reserves where he serves today, carried his wife other the threshold of their new home before walking together through their new home.
For Taylor and Moore, the old adage of four walls not making a home applies as they hope to build a family within their new home and become part of the Dinwiddie community.
“We now have a place to grow for the rest of our lives and to grow together,” she said. “To adopt our children, raise our family and grow old together.”
Holding hands with his wife, Moore echoed much of what Taylor said as members of the local media listened to the words of the happy couple, reiterating his gratitude for the home from Operation Homefront and JPMorgan Chase that was actually part of a wedding anniversary surprise for Taylor.
“I appreciate this and I know my wife appreciates this too,” he said. “It took a lot to get the process done, like the time and getting everything in there, but they made it feel like I was getting on a good standing.
Both Taylor and Moore also spoke to their personal faith as they hoped to find a church home in Dinwiddie and planned to continue to pay it forward to those in the community for the blessings they have received themselves.
“I want to pay this forward,” Moore said. “If we can make it easier for someone else like they have given us utilities, we will pay it forward by donating to a family that is in need. If we have more than we need, we want to pay it forward.”
Tuesday’s home donation was just one of many that Operation Homefront has done over the years. According to the organization, since 2012, they have placed nearly 600 military families through their Homes on the Homefront program while spending over $56 million in home equity to military families since its inception.
“Whether it’s good feelings or you just see someone in need, you need to just step forward and do it because, with Chase and Operation Homefront, it feels like they are supporting my family and allowing us to help pay it forward for another family in need,” Moore closed.
To learn more about Operation Homefront or to apply, visit http://homesonthehomefront.org.