Many who are active in community events around Warren County may recognize Stacey Blondin, co-owner of Main Street Real Estate and Social House 227 in Warrenton. But fewer people know the breadth of …
Many who are active in community events around Warren County may recognize Stacey Blondin, co-owner of Main Street Real Estate and Social House 227 in Warrenton. But fewer people know the breadth of the volunteer and charitable organizations that Blondin contributes her time to, and she mostly likes it that way, preferring that attention be placed on people in need.
Today, the Warren County Record is bringing Blondin into the spotlight to recognize the importance of volunteers like her, and to honor her as the Record’s latest Hidden Hero.
The Record is regularly receiving new nominations for community members to be recognized as Hidden Heroes, people whose service improves the lives of others and makes their community a better place to live. The nomination for Blondin cited her support for children in poverty, veterans groups, and local emergency responders.
“She gives people the love, respect and attention they deserve,” her nominator said.
Blondin told The Record that she and her business partner, Samantha Richardson, first became involved in charitable efforts after founding Main Street Real Estate in 2017. Having a successful business gave them the income and opportunity to reach out and help people in need.
One of the involvements closest to Blondin’s heart is Warren County School District’s Care to Learn program, which provides for health, hunger and hygiene needs of students from low-income families. Blondin said she got involved after seeing a news report about a boy at Rebecca Boone Elementary who was excited about receiving a tooth brush.
“He was so excited that he could have his own tooth brush and not have to share,” Blondin recalled. She said that child’s story reminded her of her own life growing up.
“I grew up extremely poor. I know what he went through. I know he probably didn’t have clean clothes. He probably didn’t have food on his table every night. He probably didn’t have running water all the time,” Blondin said. “Those are all things that Sam and I both lived through. So for that reason, I wanted to be involved in Care to Learn. I just know that there are so many kids here that go to school hungry, and can’t focus on class. I was that hungry kid.”
Blondin is now a board member for the program, helping to organize fundraising and monetary distributions. She also helped Care to Learn start two item collection drives, held in the spring and fall. All the youth assisted by the program remain anonymous, with school counselors serving as intermediaries.
Blondin says she cherishes the people in her life who helped her go from being a poor child in need to being a thriving community member who is blessed to have enough to give back. There were family members who brought food so she wouldn’t go hungry; a high school teacher who believed in her to apply for college; a local business owner who gave her a job and showed her that she could take care of herself.
“I hope that I’m that person for anyone that I can meet,” Blondin said.
A cascade of other community volunteerism has followed since 2017. Blondin’s business gives Christmas gifts to children every year, she is involved in events for the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, she is a board member for the Warrenton Fire Protection District, and she helped organize last year’s Warrenton visit of The Wall That Heals, a mobile replica of the Vietnam War Memorial.
Blondin has also helped lead the Warrenton Downtown Association during a period of renewed interest in reviving Warrenton’s Main Street. She said she hopes her involvement in the downtown association, and her investments in both a real estate business and a restaurant on Main Street, will help revitalize a thriving center of town that she remembers from her youth.
“When I was a little girl, maybe 5 or 6, my grandma brought me to the Fruhlingsfest (on Main Street), and it was really cool to see the entire Main Street full of people, young and old, having fun together,” Blondin said. “I thought, why can’t Main Street be like that again?”
Throughout all of her work, Blondin said she is tremendously grateful for the help of everyone who found out what she was involved in and decided that they wanted to join in and help.
“There’s so many people in this community who are willing to give,” she commented. “They just don’t know how, or where to do it.”
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