Building Hope Newsletter, August 2017

Executive Director’s Corner

For most of us growing up, heading back to school in the fall was a time of great excitement as we looked forward to new teachers, new friends, and new experiences – and it all started with the thrill of picking out new school supplies and a new backpack. These traditions are ingrained in us, and we continue them with our own children.

What we don’t always consider is that not every child has the same experience. For a child who is homeless or at high risk of homelessness, something as simple as a new backpack may feel completely out of reach, making the start of school yet another stressor in their young life. And it’s for those children that I want to share my tremendous gratitude to all of our supporters who donated brand new backpacks and to those who coordinated drives at their workplaces. While our original plan was to distribute the backpacks at our Night at the Ballpark event last week, a rain cancellation of the game means that we are instead distributing them to many of our shelter clients before the start of the new school year. We’ve already been able to deliver some, and seeing the joy in kids’ eyes, as they selected the backpack they really wanted, was so rewarding.

I am grateful to all of you who made this possible, and it was an important reminder for all of us that sometimes, it’s the littlest things that make the biggest difference.


Record-Setting Rain Forces Postponement of HomeAid Night at the Ballpark

Rescheduled event to be held August 18, 6:00pm at Pfitzner Stadium

An intense storm that brought up to six inches of rain in just 24 hours to the Northern Virginia region on Friday, July 28, forced the cancellation of HomeAid’s 7th Annual Night at the Ballpark, but we are pleased to announce that we will make it up to our clients on August 18, at 6:00 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge!

And while the date of this widely anticipated event will be different, we’ll carry forward all of the same traditions that have made this event such a positive one: Families will receive parking and concessions vouchers; HomeAid will coordinate pictures with the Potomac National’s mascot, Uncle Slam; one lucky guest will get to throw out the first pitch; and all the kids will get to run the bases after the game!

“HomeAid’s Night at the Ballpark is an enormously important event for us, and while we were disappointed that the weather forced us to change our plans, we’re very grateful to our partners at Pfitzner Stadium for working with us so diligently to reschedule this game and include our shelter partner clients,” said Kristyn Burr, HomeAid’s executive director. “We look forward to welcoming everyone who registered for our Night at the Ballpark event on August 18 at Pfitzner Stadium, and we are so grateful to event sponsors Buhl Electric Co., Van Metre Homes, and Franklin Electric Co.

Backpack Drive Collects over 600 Backpacks for Schoolchildren

Special thanks to Alison Paley of Van Metre Homes, AJ Team Realty, NVBIA Custom Builders CouncilPreferred InsuranceThompson GreensponVan Metre Homes, and  Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC for coordinating the collection of brand-new backpacks.

Because our Night at the Ballpark event was rescheduled for August 18 due to a rain cancellation, we are distributing the backpacks to our shelter partners this week to ensure that school-age children receive them well before the start of school. Thank you to all who made this important donation possible!


Deepening and Building Our Bench through Outreach, Education, and Fun

On July 27, 25 HomeAid board members, homebuilders, and trade partners enjoyed a Nationals baseball game in style, thanks to the generous donation of The Washington Post’s suite at Nationals Park. But it was a night with purpose, as HomeAid Northern Virginia invited veteran Builder Captains and trade partners who do so much – along with homebuilders who haven’t yet worked on a HomeAid project. The goal was to educate more homebuilders about HomeAid’s mission, give interested builders the opportunity to talk in an informal setting about what it really means to serve as a Builder Captain, and encourage more homebuilders to join our Builders Circle of Excellence by accepting a project!

The suite was donated by the Post’s Howard Bomstein, advertising category manager for real estate, who also served on HomeAid Northern Virginia’s first Board of Directors in 2000/2001. The Post is also a long-time member of NVBIA and supporter of HomeAid.

“It takes a lot to make our mission of building and renovating housing for Northern Virginia’s homeless a reality, and we not surprisingly depend most heavily on our Builder Captains and trade partners,” said Executive Director Kristyn Burr. “They of course bring their skill, labor, and materials to every project, but they also bring their own connections and relationships to every project, and every time a new homebuilder joins our partner team, our pool of supporters grows exponentially.”

“We simply could not do what we do without our Builder Captains and Trade Partners,” she added, “and the ability to treat some of them them to a Nats game was such a nice way for us to say thank you to our longtime partners, while spreading the word about what we do to those with whom we haven’t yet had the opportunity to work. We’re very grateful to the Post for their generosity—the benefits of this night will be long-lasting.”

This is the second time that Bomstein and the Post donated the suite; HomeAid held a similar builder appreciation and recruitment event last summer.

Join Us on the Links to Compete, Network, and Support HomeAid

Presented by

Friday, September 22
Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
7:00 a.m. check-in | 8:00 a.m. shotgun start

It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a Friday morning in September than on a beautiful golf course with friends and colleagues, so register today for HomeAid’s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament! This event will sell out, and whether you support the tournament through a sponsorship or by teeing up, you’ll play an important role in raising critical funding for HomeAid Northern Virginia; in 2015, the tournament raised more than $40,000 for HomeAid, and last year’s sold-out field raised more than $55,000. In addition to helping fund our shelter projects, the funds raised also allow us to host educational programs such as the Housing Forum, community-building events such as Night at the Ballpark, and important recognition and recruitment efforts for our homebuilder and shelter partners.

“This golf tournament has become a premiere fundraising event for an organization that does so much for those in our community,” said Jason McDonough, one of the tournament’s founders. “Participants get a chance to play a prestigious golf course in a beautiful setting with some of the area’s top builders, and it’s a top-quality tournament for the builder community and goes a long way in supporting HomeAid’s mission of improving housing facilities for those in need in Northern Virginia.”

John Darvish, a co-founder and a major sponsor, added, “This tournament gives participants the opportunity to play with a diversified group of industry members, such as bankers, IT specialists, marketing and advertising, architecture/design firms, and engineers, all of whom are some of the best in their industry.”

And, added John Buhl and Brian Davidson, who also helped launch the tournament, it’s a way to network with kind-hearted business people who want to give back to their community and have some fun—and with an early shotgun start—still be done by early afternoon on a Friday!

Don’t miss out! Take part in HomeAid’s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, presented by John Darvish Construction and Darvish Interiors.


CarrHomes Builds Partnerships and More for HomeAid

Tom Avery, vice president of CarrHomes, was joined by Tim Schiesl, the company’s customer service manager and HomeAid coordinator, to talk about the company’s involvement with HomeAid Northern Virginia. Find out why CarrHomes has been a generous supporter of HomeAid since its founding 15 years ago, and why they plan to continue their support long into the future. “As long as we’re in business, we’ll be doing projects for HomeAid,” said Tom.

Q: Can you tell us about the history of CarrHomes, and how the company became so devoted to HomeAid?

Tom: CarrHomes is a private local builder/developer working mostly in Northern Virginia. Our company was founded in 1925, and we build luxury single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums. I’ve been with the company for about 15 years, but the truth is, I’m the new guy.

CarrHomes has a strong philosophy of giving back to the community, and we have always been involved with other charities, such as Christmas in April. Our land acquisition manager, Tara Craven, was on the NVBIA board at the time HomeAid was started more than 15 years ago, and we just naturally started doing projects with them. For us, it was a great fit, so we are proud to have been doing projects with HomeAid from the beginning. CarrHomes is owned by Tom Jordan, and he is really the force behind our involvement. It starts at the top.

CarrHomes has probably done 12 or so HomeAid projects thus far—we try to do about one project per year. The satisfaction of seeing what we can do with the resources and the great trade partners that we have is really special; they’re willing to do so much work for us. To take something that is in dire need of repair and to see it come out looking like new construction is very satisfying—it’s amazing what a brand-new kitchen with new countertops, cabinets, and appliances can do to improve the quality of the resident’s life. Just seeing the looks on people’s faces when they see that kind of thing really makes it worthwhile.

Tim: I have been with the company for 29 years and have worked with HomeAid from the beginning. The owner, Tom Jordan, has always been very dedicated to HomeAid. He often asks us; “Have you done the HomeAid project yet?” He visits all of the sites several times.

Q:  It sounds like your trade partners also enjoy working on these projects.

Tim: Our trade partners are very invested; all of the HomeAid projects we have done over the years have always been 100% contributed. The charities never have to pay a dime; we’ve been lucky in that regard, and it shows how dedicated our subcontractors are. We enjoy great relationships with them, and it says so much about the type of people they are.

Tom: They are a big part of the reason we are able to do these projects. Much like the tenure of people who have been here 15 to 30 years, our contractors have been with us, in some instances, for decades. We have very strong relationships with all of our trade partners, and they’re always willing to step up. They know that they’re going to be asked to help out, and they’re more than willing to do so. They know it’s a two-way street; we take care of them, and they take care of us.

Q: Why is HomeAid so special to CarrHomes?

Tom: It’s the people of HomeAid. We go out and meet people in the field, and we see how hard they work. When we do a project, whether it is a major project or not, we meet the folks from HomeAid, and we see all of the work that they do, day-in and day-out, to help people. They do it because they have kindness and goodness in their hearts. There are incredible people within the organization, and for us it allows us to give back to the community that has been so good to us.

Tim: Over the years, we’ve gotten to know each other. It makes it easier for us to be charitable because they know what our strengths are. HomeAid can handpick projects that are well-suited to us and that they know we can accomplish. They select charities that are custom-made for us. It’s a give and take.

Q:  Your most recent project was for Pathways; can you tell us about that project?

Tom: We have done two projects for Pathways, one of which was this year. It was a total kitchen redo, including new appliances, floor, counters, and cabinets. We tore out the whole kitchen and made a laundry closet, installed some ceiling fans in residents’ rooms, and put in a patio in the backyard so they can enjoy extended living outside of the home.

Tim: Each HomeAid project is unique. It’s hard to say that any one project is more special than the other. But that one was nice because the residents were living in the home, and we got to know them. A lot of times we don’t get to meet them because it may be after somebody moves out and before someone else moves in. Every time we came in the house, they would comment, “Oh, you’re making us feel like princesses.” It was nice to hear that from these ladies. It was precious, and to get a hug from the residents of the house that you’re working on makes it worth it for me.

Tom: We participate in these projects because it gives us a tremendous sense of satisfaction to know that the residents will be able to get up every morning and use that new kitchen to make a little breakfast, or come home after a long day and make a nice dinner. The original kitchen was cramped, there was no dishwasher, and the washer and dryer were right next to the sink. It was all circa 1950. The difference now is night and day.

Q:  What would you say to others who may be considering doing a project with HomeAid?

Tom: Just get involved. Once you do one project, you’re going to be hooked. It seems like it could be a daunting task depending on the project, but your trade partners make it easy on you.

Tim: The last project we did we had about eight or nine trade partners, so everyone did a little. But together, it added up to be a $17,000 project. Everyone doing a little adds up to a lot. It’s all worth it in the end.

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Record Setting Rain Forces Postponement of HomeAid Night at the Ballpark, Deepening and Building Our Bench through Outreach, Education, and Fun, Join Us on the Links to Compete, Network, and Support HomeAid, CarrHomes Builds Partnerships and More for HomeAid