(WJHL)- We continue to highlight our finalists for the Remarkable Women contest. This week’s finalist has not known a stranger. She is quick to provide support, and a room, for those who are in need.
Faye Ward stays busy at her salon in Colonial Heights. Ward has owned the business for 45 years, with her children working with her for more than twenty of those years.
“We actually get along really well, and we work like we’re not family with our customers, and a lot of people don’t know that Chris is my son, or Angie is my daughter,” she says.
When her children were young, Faye fostered children who needed a home.
“They’re just little awesome kids that needs love and a home and a family,” she says as she smiles.
So Faye provided a home, and a family, for forty of those awesome kids, often taking in a group of siblings.
“There’s all these kids out there that need foster homes,” she says. “And a lot of people couldn’t take a whole family of them, which I did, and three and four brothers and sisters without breaking the family up.”
Faye’s love for people continued as she hosted Loren LaFrance’s family, who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. These strangers were family from the moment they met.
“They were so appreciative, a good Christian family,” she remembers as she tears up. “We met them in the yard, and they come in with their arms open.”
LaFrance says, “She is a remarkable woman. She has a giving spirit, attitude, she’s so loving and caring and all-around lovely, lovely lady. I love her dearly.”
Faye says, “I love helping people, and doing things like that for them, and give them a place to live until they get on their feet.”
A woman known for giving, Faye says she’s received so much in return, and those gifts were received in a time of need.
“Right before Katrina, my husband had passed away from a heart attack,” she says. “So it was company to me, too.”
Faye is never short of company. She also hosts baseball players and coaches from our local minor league teams during their season.
“A lot of those boys were 17 years old, and you had to be a mama to them. They had never been away from home, and coming from other countries. So, it was a big adjustment for them,” she says. “On their birthdays, they either got a big cookie, or pizza. Whatever they wanted, and that was a treat to them.”
Players from other local teams would somehow find their way to Faye’s house.
“They would all come down. The boys would get up the next morning and they might have two or three extra ones,” she says with a laugh. “It was amazing! I got to meet people from all over the world.”
And those people, from foster children, displaced families, and athletes from all over the world, know they have family in a little shop in Colonial Heights.