[March 2015] Supporters of the Hazel Hill housing development held a special ceremony for EOIR’s SEPI directorate on March 20 to thank them for their support of its residents. Hazel Hill founders, Becky and Don Reed, expressed their gratitude by presenting a plaque to Diane Deterline, Vice President of SEPI. The ceremony included cake and many heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Hazel Hill residents to the EOIR employees who have supported them over the years.
Hazel Hill is a low-income rent-assisted apartment complex located in downtown Fredericksburg, VA. For the last 8 holiday seasons, SEPI employees have purchased clothing, food, and gifts for the 50 senior citizens living in Hazel Hill. Employees don Santa hats and deliver the gift bags in time to bring holiday cheer. These items are the only Christmas presents that many residents receive, and they frequently remark that they anxiously await this event each year.
SEPI also provides donations to send many of the community’s children to the Fredericksburg YMCA day camp program. The camp provides a full day of swimming, sports, field trips, games, and crafts each weekday for 8 weeks in midsummer. For the last 8 years, 10 to 15 Hazel Hill children between the ages of 6 and 15 have attended the program. This relieves parents of the cost of childcare, and it provides these urban children with a summer of outdoor adventures that would otherwise have been inaccessible to them.
Diane Deterline has been an active member of the Hazel Hill Board of Directors for 8 years. Kathie Bramlette, wife of longtime SEPI Employee Larry Bramlette and Hazel Hill community nurse, helps to keep EOIR apprised of the community’s needs.