Building Hope Newsletter, June 2020

Gene Wiley (The Closet Board President), Diameng Pa and Chris Edgecomb (Richmond American Homes), Kristyn Burr (HomeAid Northern Virginia), and D. Brooke Robinson (DRAW) (left to right) gather at the nearly completed expansion project at The Closet in Herndon, Va.

As you’ll read in this issue – and as you’ll hear more about in the coming months as we launch our HomeAid150Campaign – we’re hitting a huge milestone this year: Since our founding in 2001, we’re approaching the completion of our 150th renovation and building project. Sometimes, numbers like that might not make much of an impression, but I hope that you – as one of our supporters – will pause to really think about what that means. Sure, it equates to an average of almost eight projects finished every year, and $18 million invested in our communities. But beyond that, what does it really mean?

For me, it means that HomeAid Northern Virginia is, with your help and support, successfully meeting our mission of building new lives for those experiencing homelessness. That $18 million isn’t just a number – it’s money that our shelter partners can focus on and invest in people, helping them with things like life skills and job training, rather than on building maintenance. It’s money that means children have somewhere safe to go after school or during the summer, for enrichment and tutoring support. And it’s money that helps close the enormous funding gaps that exist between what our community nonprofits need versus have – making a real difference in our ability to provide safe and stable places for the 167,000 people we’ve served as they work to regain their independence.

In a year so dramatically changed by COVID-19, it’s an especially important milestone and mission to celebrate: Construction is an essential industry, and its importance and relevance during these strange times have allowed us to really put our heads down to continue working on projects – and take on new projects – throughout Northern Virginia. We’ve done it in the absence of the many other fundraising, education, and appreciation events we normally hold throughout the year, which has brought about a welcome silver lining: What so often happens behind the scenes or quietly by our Builder Captains and trade partners now feels a little more front and center, and our appreciation and gratitude for them – already enormously high – grew even more. We’ve enabled 167,000 people to call 150 spaces their safe place to heal, grab hold of their lives, and start anew. For me, those are numbers I can really embrace.

With Gratitude,

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]This is a big year for HomeAid Northern Virginia, as we complete the 150th project since our founding in 2001. To celebrate that success and help us continue our mission going forward, HomeAid Northern Virginia is launching a HomeAid150 Campaign this month: By donating a minimum of $150 – just $1 for every project we have completed – you can help us continue to make a difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. And, to make every dollar go that much further, HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Board of Directors has joined together to offer a dollar-for-dollar matching gift, up to $25,000!

The impact of our work to date – which equates to an $18 million investment in our community – means that more than 167,000 lives have been touched by our work, as individuals and families gained dignified, safe and stable homes to regain their footing and grab hold of a second chance. None of it would be possible without the dedication of builders, trade partners, and supporters who continue to show up for us year after year.

“We don’t always think of the true significance of construction because so often, it just happens, usually with little to no fanfare, or with the real heavy lifting happening behind the scenes,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “But the spaces we build and renovate are so much more than physical spaces; they provide dignity, safety, and healing to those who enter them. They represent incredible cost savings that allow our partner organizations to focus their limited budgets on providing immediate support such as housing, job skills training, mental health services and other critically needed resources. And they enable clients to transition out of crisis and into stability and independence.”

The HomeAid150Campaign will run from now through August. Double your impact and donate today!

Charitable Giving Tax Laws Change

As part of the CARES Act passed on March 27, 2020, the following charitable giving tax law changes were made:

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Children from poor households (83%) were more likely than children from non-poor households (70%) to have irregular care and supervision during the summer. In other words, families of children living in poverty had less capacity to provide supervision directly or to connect with other sources of reliable and consistent supervision.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Richmond American Homes, and 23 trade partners are wrapping up construction of a 550 square foot addition on the back of The Closet of Greater Herndon, a non-profit thrift shop in the heart of historic downtown Herndon. The structure, which provides protection from the elements for workers and donations alike, was at the top of the Closet’s wish list for years, and the Board of Directors, store manager, workers, shoppers, and even Herndon’s City Council are thrilled with the outcome.

The 550 square foot addition at The Closet of Greater Herndon wasn’t quite finished in time for our newsletter release, but it will be painted, roofed, and a sliding garage door installed very soon!

At its heart, the project is a structure that covers the facility’s donation area, where citizens drop off their donations and where volunteers sort, tag, and work to bring donations inside to the retail shop. Trade partners installed features such as radiant heating systems and ceiling fans for the donation area, and replaced a stairwell with a handicapped ramp so that the retail area will be ADA compliant for the first time since it’s opening.

“For the last decade, we’ve been operating with the weather beating down on the workers out there, and often jeopardizing the donations,” said Board President Gene Wiley. “This addition is going to make a real difference in how we operate, and without HomeAid’s assistance, there’s no way we could have built it. We dedicate our funds for grants to local charities and scholarships, but the donation area was getting busier and was to the point that we had to do something. We’re so grateful for the enormous help getting this addition approved and built, and we are looking forward to helping HomeAid celebrate and recognize all of the trade partners who played such a huge role in making it a reality. We’re excited to reopen, accept donations again, and enjoy this beautiful new space for sorting and processing everything for the clients who depend on us.” 

Pat Rhoads, store manager, is equally enthused with the addition, knowing it will mean that hardworking employees and volunteers will be protected from the weather, and donations will no longer risk ruin from rain or snow. “This is the best thing that’s happened to this store in 20 years, and every person who worked on it was absolutely delightful and so responsive. When I noticed rain coming off the roof and pooling below, I called the project manager, who came out and installed gutters without hesitation. Everyone who sees it is just in awe of how fabulous it looks, and we cannot wait to start working out there again. I cannot praise the project, the people, or the outcome enough.” 

Herndon’s City Hall, which faces the new addition, will also benefit, as piles of donations are now out of sight and because the architecture blends beautifully with surrounding buildings and includes historical references to nearby landmarks, thanks to the hard work of Brooke Robinson, architect, of David Robinson Architectural Workshop (DRAW). 

“I got involved through a connection with the Board,” Robinson said, “and I was happy to provide my design services. It was a unique project, being in an historic zone and sitting directly in front of City Hall, which meant we needed Heritage Preservation Review Board (HPRB) approval in addition to the regular permitting. We decided to focus on the town’s railroad history, drawing inspiration from the nearby caboose and W&OD railroad that ran steps away from the building. The addition has a depot-like quality to its construction, and its boxcar-red color, corrugated metal roof and large sliding doors evoke that same theme. The town and HPRB really embraced it; it was a fun and rewarding project.”  

“This is a different project than perhaps what is ‘typical’ for our work with HomeAid,” Jack Gallagher, division president, Mid-Atlantic region, for Richmond American Homes, told us at the start of the project. “But The Closet is a partner organization in need of construction support, and their general mission is well aligned with the same community we serve. We’re helping them help others, which is always an easy bottom line to get behind.”  

I think all of us on the Board, our volunteers and our staff share the same feeling of pure delight,” added Board Facilities Chair Sam Harahan. This project’s completion – which we never could have done ourselves – adds tremendous potential for our organization and, if there is any silver lining to the covid shutdown, I would say that being closed during construction made this run so smoothly start to finish. The builders and trade partners were a delight to work with. I enjoy golf, and there’s a saying that goes something along the lines of, ‘sometimes the ball ends up exactly where you want it but not because of you.’ And that’s how I feel about this project; we ended up at the right place at the right time, by the grace of God, HomeAid, and its partners. We’re all so tickled with the end result and cannot wait to start serving our community again!”  

The Closet was founded in 1974 by a handful of faith communities to assist low-income families by selling used clothing at nominal prices. Over the years, the shop has expanded to also include household necessities and dedicates its profits to supporting other community programs, such as Cornerstones, Fellowship Square, the Herndon-Reston FISH, Meridians Recovery, Mobile Hope of Loudoun, South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry, and Herndon Woman’s Club.

Thank you, Richmond American Homes and the following trade partners, for your help in advancing the mission of The Closet and making it a safer environment for volunteers and staff!

Sure, our world looks and feels a little different right now, but that didn’t stop HomeAid from throwing open the doors to a newly renovated home owned by Cornerstones and taking the time to thank our Builder Captain Miller & Smith and the 16 trade partners who donated 100 percent of their time, talent and materials for this project. On May 20, we hosted a drive-through appreciation event, where we celebrated with a ribbon cutting and individually thanked contributors with plaques and lunch gift cards. We also were able to donate three full “Welcome Home” baskets to the future residents of the home. It was a joyous day and a good reminder that even with masks, the best smiles are the ones seen in people’s eyes.

Thank you to Miller & Smith and the following trade partners for renovating and updating another beautiful home for CHC, where a family can now work toward their independence!

ABW Appliances
Augustine Plumbing
Bee & H Electric Company
C&R Construction
Commercial Concrete
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
Johnson Drywall & Construction, Inc.
KND Construction

Legacy Contractors Group, LLC
Robert Clean
S.B.S. Siding Company, Inc.
Select Construction Company, Inc.
Signature Company
Stadler Nurseries
T.A.C. Ceramic Tile Co.
TW Perry

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Children from lower-income households spent less time in conversation with their parents and more time watching television in the summer. Specifically, this research found that children in low-income households watched an average of almost 2 more hours of television per day during the summer when compared to children in higher-income households.
Source: National Center for Educational Statistics[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]

There’s plenty of room to roam at The Barn at One Loudoun, which we hope will make social distancing a breeze at the 11th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ!

The Barn at One Loudoun
(FREE event parking at 44679 Provincetown Dr., Ashburn)
Thursday, August 13, 2020
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.



Throughout these challenging times, HomeAid Northern Virginia has remained focused on continuing to build new lives for families and individuals experiencing homelessness in Virginia. But to make that mission possible, our community outreach and fundraising efforts have never felt more important.

On August 13 – the scheduled date of our 11th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ – we sincerely hope to celebrate and build support for all that we do, while taking all necessary precautions and making modifications to ensure our safety. And although this beloved tradition may look a little different, with spaced tables and individually boxed meals just two of the many things we anticipate changing in accordance with state guidance, we are working hard to develop new protocols and modifications for this important event. We hope you will still come out to enjoy a fun event with us – now, more than ever, we need you!

Some things about the event won’t need to change: We’ll still be outdoors in a relaxed and fun environment, with great food, live music and an open bar (with single use glassware!), and great raffle prizes! All this, for just $50, unless you are a Builder Captain, trade partner, supplier, or subcontractor that has participated on a HomeAid project in the last year, in which case you are eligible for TWO FREE BBQ registrations! (Contact Cilda Pretorius for more details.)

In the meantime, we welcome donations for our raffle prizes, and sponsorships are available! Register today, and we hope to see you on August 13![divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which was created to fill the gap in access to food between school years, provides meals to students to promote their health and well-being. However, SFSP consistently has difficulty meeting the needs of eligible children, serving only one in seven students who receive free and reduced-price lunch during the school year.
Source: Food Research & Action Center, 2018[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]HomeAid Northern Virginia, as part of its Builders for Babies initiative, has set up an Amazon Wish List to make contact-free collection drives that much easier this summer! Stocked with wish list items focusing on formula, diapers and wipes for our youngest citizens in need, as well as back-to-school backpacks for elementary- through high school-aged kids, all of the orders will be delivered directly to our headquarters. We will then take care of distributing them to our shelter partners for their clients. To help spread awareness, we are also urging all supporters to please share the Amazon links and tag us on social media whenever you order something from the wish list – doing so will go a long way in encouraging others to do a little online shopping for our community’s kids!

Donate to our backpack drive by clicking the image above!
Donate to our diaper and baby wipe drive by clicking the image above!

Since we first began collecting backpacks for area children in 2015, we’ve collected well over 2,000 backpacks and school supplies – please help us continue the tradition!

[divider line_type=”No Line”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”No Line”][divider line_type=”No Line”]As HomeAid Northern Virginia celebrates its 150th completed project this year, we know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies to recognize and thank. But this month, we’d like to highlight six companies that have served as Builder Captains for the greatest number of projects since HomeAid’s founding. Together, they have completed 55 projects of the 150! 

It’s a remarkable contribution toward a remarkable milestone, one that I’m sure the original founders and supporters of HomeAid in 2001 might never have imagined. Please join us as we honor our top seven Builder Captains, and learn from them why they continue to give so tirelessly.  

Cris Maina

At Brookfield, we pride ourselves in the lasting and meaningful relationships we’ve created with our building trade partners and subcontractors, allowing us to leverage their generosity towards a common goal. HomeAid’s mission to end homelessness through its builder network creates the perfect recipe for companies like us to maximize our contribution to the communities in which we live and work. We are grateful to have played a part in HomeAid’s success, and we hope to continue our involvement in years to come.”
~ Cris Maina, Director of Residential Development, Brookfield Properties 

Tom Avery

It gives everyone at CarrHomes great joy to have played a role in helping HomeAid Northern Virginia reach the exciting milestone of completing its 150th project. There is nothing more rewarding than providing one of the most fundamental needs – a roof over your head – to the many men, women, children, and families who have experienced challenges, hardships, or life-altering events in our community. CarrHomes understands the value and dignity of having a place to call home, so it is truly an honor to work with HomeAid to provide safe, secure homes to those who are in need and give them a stepping stone toward rebuilding their lives.  
~ Tom Avery, Vice President, Carr Homes 

Jerry Berman

“HomeAid Northern Virginia represents the best that the home building industry has to offer. Inspired by Kristyn Burr, HomeAid’s CEO, and a fully engaged Board of Directors, we at Christopher Companies find it both rewarding and easy to give back to the communities we’ve been a part of for almost five decades. Helping those with the greatest needs is a privilege we’re afforded as members of this great organization as we celebrate their 150th project completion.” 
~ Jerry Berman, Executive Vice President, Christopher Companies 

Doug Smith
Doug Smith

“We have a responsibility to give back to our communities, and HomeAid is a wonderful organization that makes it easy to leverage our construction expertise with the transition housing community to help lift people up. Our employees also get a lot out of working on a HomeAid project, as providing temporary housing for people in crisis really resonates with them. So many of us have known friends or have, in some cases, experienced a housing crisis ourselves, and it’s a powerful feeling to be able to be part of the solution.”  
~ Doug Smith, President, Miller and Smith 

Steven B. Alloy

“Stanley Martin’s mission statement is ‘To design and build homes people love at a price they can afford.’ While in our day jobs we help thousands of people buy new homes every year, we recognize that there are far too many people in America who struggle with homelessness. Our team is dedicated to help alleviate homelessness challenges in our local communities, and we know that HomeAid Northern Virginia is one of the most effective organizations at accomplishing that. From HomeAid Northern Virginia’s founding through today, Stanley Martin has provided support through our volunteer work and contributions. HomeAid Northern Virginia makes a real difference to help people that are truly in need, and we are proud to be a supporter of this wonderful organization!”
~ Steven B. Alloy, President and CEO, Stanley Martin Homes 

Brad Blank

“Winchester Homes is very proud to be a Builder Captain with HomeAid. Fighting homelessness is such an important cause, and we hope our continued involvement can help provide housing and better lives for so many in need.” 
~ Brad Blank, President, Winchester Homes[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]A message from HomeAid Northern Virginia on the ongoing injustice plaguing our nation:
Sometimes, there is no “right” thing to say. We struggle to find the words, knowing they alone cannot heal the raw pain our communities and country are experiencing, yet we know that silence is also not the answer. At HomeAid Northern Virginia, we are grieving for the black community and are sickened by violence that does nothing to recognize centuries of inequity or honor those lost.

Every person and every organization has a voice and a platform, and now more than ever it is time to use it for good. At HomeAid Northern Virginia, we were founded on the very principles of serving those who needed a voice and a hand, and we condemn discrimination, bias, and violence. We will continue to use our voices – which are also reflected in our actions – to promote equity, inclusion, love, forgiveness, and justice.

As we do every day, we see you. We hear you. We stand with you. And we will stand up for you.

–Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director & CEO

HomeAid Arts in the Park at Wolf Trap Postponed
In late May, Wolf Trap Foundation’s President and CEO Arvind Manocha announced the cancellation of all 2020 summer performances due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus throughout the Washington, DC, metro area. This means that HomeAid Northern Virginia will look forward to hosting our 1st Annual Arts in the Park at Wolf Trap event in 2021.

“It is with profound sadness that I announce that we are cancelling the Summer 2020 concert season,” Manocha said. “For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap National Park and The Barns at Wolf Trap will not host live performances from May through September. The continued health and well-being of the Wolf Trap community of patrons, artists, and staff are of paramount importance to us. Concern for the welfare of all makes summer gatherings for performances unfeasible.”

HomeAid Recognized
We are proud to announce that we’ve been selected for the Catalogue for Philanthropy’s 2020-21 class of nonprofits! The Catalogue recognizes the best local nonprofits, and we are so honored to be part of such a great group of organizations. To learn more about the new class and the other organizations joining us, go to

In Search of Summer Interns
Do you know someone looking for real-word experience with a busy office? Please send them HomeAid’s way: We are looking for summer interns in our marketing, events, and shelter program departments. Because we’re a small office, our internships mean that students do the real, boots-on-the-ground work. This isn’t a filing and photocopying internship! Remote work options available. Find out more – and apply – on our website!

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Brunch with BenefitsPresented in partnership with The Construction Management Podcast, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBD, Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Ashburn, VA (10% of proceeds go to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

1st Annual Arts in the Park at Wolf TrapTHIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SUMMER 2021, Children’s Theatre in the Woods at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA

11th Annual Builders and Friends BBQNEW DATE:  Thursday, August 13, The Barn at One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA (Registration and Sponsorships Now Open!)

Housing Forum NEW DATE: Thursday, September 3, 2020 (This event is geared towards those who work in the field. FREE with registration. Registration is now open!)

6th Annual Golf Tournament – Friday, September 18, 2020, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesbury, VA (Registration and Sponsorships Now Open!)

SN Mortgage Benefit Trap Shoot – Friday, October 2, 2020, Bull Run Shooting Center, Centreville, VA (Details coming soon – proceeds to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

Women in Building Industry Spring Networking NEW DATE: Thursday, October 15, 2020, Paradise Springs Winery, Clifton, VA (Collecting home essential items for HomeAid’s Helping Hands program.)

19th Annual Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 14, 2020, Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA

In this newsletter:
Executive Director & CEO Corner
HomeAid Northern Virginia Launches HomeAid150 Campaign
HomeAid and Richmond American Homes Expand ‘The Closet’
HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ: Plans Underway for Celebrating While Staying Safe
Fulfilling Needs for Babies and Kids
HomeAid Northern Virginia Honors Six Most Active Builder Captains